Football

Tackle Covid-19 by not tackling during training, EPL clubs told

English Premier League players will be prohibited from tackling and pitches will have to be disinfected when clubs return to training as part of plans to prevent the further spread of Covid-19, the BBC reported yesterday.

Citing an official protocol sent to players and managers outlining conditions for returning to training, the BBC's report said pitches, corner flags, cones and goalposts would have to be disinfected after each session.

Players will be tested twice per week for the virus and take a daily temperature check, while they will also be forbidden from congregating or travelling to or from training with teammates, the report added.

Tackling and contact will reportedly be banned for the first phase of team training.

The EPL did not immediately respond to a request to comment on the BBC's report.

London mayor Sadiq Khan is opposed to the idea of the EPL resuming in the capital next month while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to cause hundreds of deaths in Britain each day, a spokesman for the mayor's office has said.

There are five London-based clubs in the English top flight.

"Sadiq is extremely keen for the Premier League and professional sport in general to resume," the spokesman told the Evening Standard.

"However, with the country still in the grips of this crisis, and hundreds of people dying every day, he believes that it is too early to be discussing the resumption of... top-flight sport in the capital.

"As a Liverpool fan, Sadiq of course wants the Premier League to return. But it can only happen when it is safe to do so."

English football has been on hold since March, along with most leagues across Europe due to the pandemic.

Yet, while clubs across the continent have begun training again and set dates for restarting their seasons, England's top flight is yet to confirm plans for returning to training or matches.

Germany's Bundesliga is set to become the first of Europe's top five leagues to start up again when matches resume on Saturday, while the Polish, Austrian and Portuguese leagues have also confirmed start dates.

Clubs in Spain's top two divisions have returned to individual training and while no date has been set for matches to restart, La Liga president Javier Tebas has said he hopes action will resume from June 12. - AFP, REUTERS

Football