English football confident of finishing the season

English football confident of finishing the season as the Premier League join forces with the FA, EFL and WSL to call on players and managers to ‘set the right example’ amid backlash over social distancing rule breaches

  • Premier League has released a joint statement alongside the FA, EFL and WSL
  • The quartet are committed to completing the season despite Covid cases rising
  • They maintain that they have tightened their coronavirus protocols sufficiently
  • And they call on players and managers to set the right example amid backlash
  • Players have been criticised for hugging and high-fiveing after goals are scored

In a joint statement, the Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Women’s Super League said they were confident their tightened coronavirus protocols would enable them to finish the season.

The statement read: ‘Safety is a collective effort and football requires the ongoing support of clubs, managers, players and all those involved in staging matches to continue to manage the spread of infection and set the right example to the public on and off the pitch.

‘We will offer guidance, education and support as well as reviewing our practices to ensure they remain of the highest standard.

English football is confident of finishing the season despite the current coronavirus crisis

English football is confident of finishing the season despite the current coronavirus crisis

It comes after players breached orders to avoid hugging, high-fives and handshakes

It comes after players breached orders to avoid hugging, high-fives and handshakes

STATEMENT IN FULL 

The Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Barclays Women’s Super League have this week introduced enhanced COVID-19 measures and stressed their importance to everyone in the game.

Safety is a collective effort and football requires the ongoing support of clubs, managers, players and all those involved in staging matches to continue to manage the spread of infection and set the right example to the public on and off the pitch. 

We will offer guidance, education and support as well as reviewing our practices to ensure they remain of the highest standard.

Our three organisations have confidence in our COVID-19 protocols and our ability to bring the season to a successful conclusion.

Throughout this crisis, the healthy, safety and well-being off all participants has been our number one priority and by following the national rules and football’s own strict medical and scientific advice, football has been able to maintain its privileged position and continue to engage and entertain millions of people around the country.

The game has a responsibility and during this next critical period it is down to everyone involved to ensure they follow Government rules and our protocols. We have seen the huge contribution players have made to the national effort and they must continue to use their influence in demonstrating the importance of following the rules.

With full compliance to our COVID-19 protocols – alongside effective testing regimes – we are confident at the halfway point of the season that, with the support of all, the 2020/21 campaign will continues to its conclusion in May.

‘Our three organisations have confidence in our COVID-19 protocols and our ability to bring the season to a successful conclusion.

‘Throughout this crisis, the healthy, safety and well-being off all participants has been our number one priority and by following the national rules and football’s own strict medical and scientific advice, football has been able to maintain its privileged position and continue to engage and entertain millions of people around the country.

‘The game has a responsibility and during this next critical period it is down to everyone involved to ensure they follow Government rules and our protocols. 

‘We have seen the huge contribution players have made to the national effort and they must continue to use their influence in demonstrating the importance of following the rules.

‘With full compliance to our COVID-19 protocols – alongside effective testing regimes – we are confident at the halfway point of the season that, with the support of all, the 2020/21 campaign will continues to its conclusion in May.’

It comes after a series of urgent meetings between the Premier League, captains and managers to address the new Covid protocols – amid fears that continued non-compliance may trigger government intervention. 

As Sportsmail revealed last week, a series of stringent measures were sent to clubs in the wake of the new strain of the pandemic that has caused deaths and infections to skyrocket in the UK.

Players were told that they should avoid hugging, high-fives and handshakes, with sanctions promised for breaches.

However, top-flight matches played since the protocols were sent out have seen repeated instances of group hugs following goals.

Sheffield United, Wolves, Everton, Fulham and both Manchester clubs are among those to have celebrated as normal. 

Sportsmail revealed that the ongoing situation has prompted worried Premier League officials to take action. 

They held a series of calls with captains, managers and key staff – thought to be safety officers – on Thursday and will do so again on Friday.  

Despite being urged not to, players are still celebrating with hugs, high-fives and handshakes

Despite being urged not to, players are still celebrating with hugs, high-fives and handshakes

Premier League fear the Government will intervene if players continue to celebrate as normal

Premier League fear the Government will intervene if players continue to celebrate as normal

Four summits will be held on each afternoon. On the calls they are expected to be reminded of the new protocols, the reasoning behind them and the potential impact that repeated non-compliance could have.

The Premier League say that the talks were planned as part of the rollout of the new protocols. Clubs were informed of the meetings on Wednesday. 

On Wednesday England’s deputy chief medical officer, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, said footballers needed to avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact.

But the same evening, City’s players celebrated Phil Foden’s winning, first-half goal against Brighton with a nine-man hug.

The Football League joined forces with the Premier League and the FA to release a statement

The Football League joined forces with the Premier League and the FA to release a statement 

The Women's Super League has also committed to finishing the season despite rise in cases

The Women’s Super League has also committed to finishing the season despite rise in cases

source: dailymail.co.uk

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