EPL: Players, staff not required to wear masks at stadiums
Players and coaching staff will not be required to wear masks at stadiums when the Premier League 2019-20 restarts on June 17. Meanwhile, there will be no ball boys or girls and a system of sterilized replacement balls will be used. Players will also be encouraged to follow other protocols in place. Here's more on the same.
Premier League players will be encouraged not to spit or clear their noses on the pitch. They are also advised not to break social distancing during goal celebrations. Players and staff will not have to wear masks at all, even in the changing room or on the bench. However, the fourth official as well as doctors and physios will need to wear masks.
EPL clubs agreed to a range of medical and operational protocols at a meeting on Thursday. There will be strict limits on those allowed into stadiums on matchdays. Moreover, grounds will be split into zones, including the tunnel and pitch side. In total, only 300 people will be in each stadium, with only 110 allowed in the 'red zone' including players, staff and officials.
The report adds that there will be deep cleaning of corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards and match balls before and after each game. Extra disinfection, such as of the substitution board after it is used, is likely to take place during matches and at half-time, Players will have to hand sanitize when they enter and leave the field of play.
The medical protocols stipulate how squads and coaching staff must travel to and from games, observing proper social distancing. Teams will be encouraged to fly on longer away trips to limit use of hotels. Moreover, every player and coach will have their temperatures checked before they arrive at the stadium.
The Premier League is set to resume after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic. 92 fixtures are left in the season. Earlier, teams returned to contact training at end of May and are currently playing friendly games to prepare for the resumption.