Sports

Football clubs handed new Covid guidelines including fresh rule for goalkeepers


After the game between Brighton and Tottenham was postponed this weekend, the footballing bodies have quickly taken action to prevent further fixture distruption

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In pictures: Tottenham v Norwich

Football clubs have all been issued with a new set of guidelines on how to conduct themselves in an attempt to prevent the new Omicron variant of Covid-19 from disrupting the sport.

On Wednesday it was revealed that the match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Tottenham Hotspur has had to be postponed following a flurry of positive Covid tests in the Spurs camp.

The fixture is the first top-flight game this season to be moved to a later date because of Covid.

And the Premier League has taken that as an indication that they must act quickly to prevent the campaign from being thrown into disarray if numerous players contract the virus – both for the sake of the sport and the health of the individuals.







Conte has struggled this week with so many Tottenham players absent from training
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Image:

Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

They have written to all 20 clubs to ask for the emergency measures to be implemented, presumably to the level they were during the height of the pandemic previously, with the EFL following suit and asking their 72 clubs to step up their measures as well.

Both bodies have asked for increased mask-wearing and asked for treatment times per player to be reduced down to 15 minutes to prevent two individuals from spending an increased amount of time together in close proximity.

Similarly, the Premier League and the EFL have also requested that clubs carefully consider cancelling their Christmas parties due to the risks that having all the squad in one place where judgements may be somewhat inhibited.

Stricter measures are also set to be brought in,with the EFL suggesting clubs consider grouping their players based on different factors.

They have asked clubs to try and separate players into groups based on whether they have had Covid previously, been double vaccinated, had the booster or not had any of the aforementioned and has no intent on having the jabs.

The position of a player should also be evaluated, ensuring those who play in certain key positions are split up – namely goalkeepers – to ensure that if one player contracts the virus, there is a decreased likelihood that all players will come down with it and thus games can still go ahead.

Clubs are also being asked to consider how they schedule meal times and meetings, staggering them so that they are shorter and with fewer players, and who can come in and out of the training facilities (including the media).







Goalkeepers are being told to stay apart
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Image:

PA Wire)

The news comes shortly after it was revealed that those attending football matches must now have to have a Covid pass to hand in order to gain entry – unless exempt – may that be attained via a negative lateral flow test or by simply having both vaccines.

However, upon entry to the stadium, it is very unlikely that fans will be able to interact with the players and get close enough for photos as players are being warned to keep their contact bubbles small.

It remains to be seen just how effective the Premier League and EFL’s measures are, but they will of course be keeping a watchful eye on how everything pans out over the coming weeks with a busy Christmas period on its way.

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