The UK is in dire need of strict health protocols now more than ever as a new variant of the coronavirus emerged through England. A new study suggests that the new variant is 50% more transmissible than the previous versions of SARS-CoV-2. There have also been surges in hospitalizations and deaths, according to recent reports. Because of this alarming rate of COVID-19 cases, officials have become increasingly vigilant, and their patience has been tested in recent football games.
Violations Committed in Football Games
We all know that when it comes to football games, players do handshakes and hug their fellow teammates. This would have been alright before, but with all the strict rules and protocols in place, football players must not do those things. That’s why there were a lot of raised eyebrows when players embraced after goals in all three of the Premier League football games.
According to an interview with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, “It’s an emotional game. We have to understand the players when they celebrate but also understand the concern nowadays for a bit of less emotions and less hugging.”
Because of these breaches in protocols, football games have been under increasing scrutiny. Trevor Birch, EFL Chief Executive, wrote to all football clubs and warned them that “now is not the time for complacency.” He further stated, “We will come under extreme governmental pressure if we continue to flout the rules and guidance in place.
“It is more important than ever that all club staff and players vigilantly follow the processes to avoid a suspension and the implications, particularly financial, associated with such a drastic course of action.”
Stricter Protocols in Place
With over 80,000 coronavirus-related deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic, safety measures have been set up. However, although some elite spots have been able to continue under strict protocols, many people’s patience has been wearing thin. This is because of how some clubs could not follow the rules.
In the first week of January, there was a surge in cases. Forty football players and club staff tested positive. Because of this, the Premier League gave stricter protocols, which are the following:
The Premier League’s Protocols
- Compliance officers will check behaviour in dressing rooms to see that everyone is practising social distancing.
- Football players and managers are to avoid unnecessary contact.
- Officers will check travel plans and hotel stays of the club. The staff numbers will be at the training grounds during the checking to enforce social distancing guidelines.
- There will be stricter matchday protocols. Substitutes must be wearing face masks.
- The football players will no longer be tested once a week, but it will be twice a week. This is also to find asymptomatic cases earlier since there were 112 positive cases at the 66 EFL clubs.
With all of these happening, the Football Association is reminding everyone to do their part. Everyone must follow the protocols and regulations. Also, according to Birch, “Throughout the pandemic, football has provided a glimmer of hope for many millions of people affected by restrictions but we all understand the scrutiny the game remains under.
“While football is permitted to continue the actions of all participants will clearly be under the microscope.
“I am therefore personally asking you to re-double your efforts, to check, amend and tighten your protocol accordingly, and ensure that players and staff are left in no doubt as to their responsibilities on matchdays.”
Thus, although football games have faced a backlash these days, the sport will shoulder on during these tough times. That’s why you also still got bookmaker offers for upcoming matches.
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