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Premier League return plans revealed: No masks, no ball boys

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14 Jun 2020
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Premier League

Players and coaching staff will not be required to wear masks at stadiums when the Premier League resumes.

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Players will be encouraged not to spit or clear their noses and not to break social distancing during goal celebrations.

There will be no ball boys or girls – a system of sterilized replacement balls will be used.

Contrary to Germany’s Bundesliga, players and staff have been required to wear masks at all times, except for during play.

In the Premier League, they will not have to wear masks at all, even in the changing room or on the bench, although the fourth official, as well as doctors and physios, will have to.

On Thursday the Premier League announced there will be a minute’s silence to remember those who have died with coronavirus before the first matches.

Heart-shaped badges in tribute to frontline NHS staff will also be worn on kits.

Clubs agreed to a range of medical and operational protocols for the restart of the season as well.

There will be strict limits on those allowed into stadiums on matchdays and grounds will be split into zones, including the tunnel and pitchside.

In total, only 300 people will be in each stadium, with no more than 110 in the ‘red zone’ including players, club staff and officials.

There will be deep cleaning of corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards, and match balls before and after each fixture.

Some extra disinfection, such as of the substitution board after it is used, is likely to take place during matches and at half-time, while other work will be carried out during drinks breaks if they are permitted by the league.

Travel plans

The medical protocols stipulate how squads and coaching staff must travel to and from games, observing social distancing.

Clubs will be encouraged to fly on long away trips to limit the use of hotels. Every player and coach will be temperature checked before they arrive at the stadium.

Players will have to hand sanitize when they enter and leave the field of play.

Meanwhile, players are working with the Premier League on a Black Lives Matter tribute where players will be allowed to take a knee, names at the back of the shirts to be replaced by phrase Black Lives Matter, and the phrase to feature as shirts logo.

 

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