Yellow cards should be handed out to players who spit on the field when football resumes, a FIFA council member has said.
A FIFA council member has demanded yellow cards be handed out to players who spit on the field when soccer resumes.
The British government has said talks are ongoing to get the English Premier League “up and running as soon as possible” as top-flight players begin to return to training grounds.
And those players who spit after returning to the pitch should be punished as they risk spreading COVID-19, FIFA’s medical committee chairman Michel D’Hooghe told The Daily Telegraph.
The Belgian doctor acknowledged that spitting “is a common practice in football and it is not very hygienic”.
“This is one of the reasons why we have to be very careful before we start again. I am not pessimistic but I am rather sceptical at the moment.”
D’Hooghe said football administrators would need to consider punishment via a card due to the need to protect players and staff near the pitch.
It comes as Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden’s department leads discussions on how professional sport can restart should restrictions be eased.
Weekly meetings will now be taking place between medical officials from the major sports governing bodies and representatives of Public Health England.
Any resumption of sport could only happen if the Government’s five tests are fulfilled, covering such areas as NHS capacity, the availability of testing and PPE and a fall in the death and infection rates.
It is accepted that for the foreseeable future this would be about sporting events happening behind closed doors.
The Premier League’s resumption is being kept under constant review, with the clubs set to gather for a shareholders’ meeting on Friday.
With a return appearing to edge closer, some Arsenal players were pictured training at their London Colney base on Monday.
Tottenham – who have had to remind players of their responsibilities after some were pictured flouting COVID-19 guidelines – announced their squad will be allowed to return to their training ground on Tuesday.
The Premier League is not alone in eyeing a restart.
The Bundesliga is due to return next month, subject to clearance from the relevant authorities, with the German top-flight’s clubs already back in training.
France’s Ligue 1 is targeting a mid-June return with players set to begin returning to training on May 11, while in Italy the prime minister Giuseppe Conte said sports teams could resume group training from May 18.
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