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Premier League dispenses with pre-match handshakes due to coronavirus fears

By Patric Ridge

London, March 6: The Premier League has confirmed there will be no pre-match handshakes at games until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With the virus spreading globally and confirmed cases rising across Europe and in Britain, sporting events have understandably been impacted.

On Wednesday (March 4), the Italian government announced that events will be staged behind closed doors until April 3, though England's Six Nations clash with Italy has since been postponed.

In France, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has altered the pre-match protocol of all their matches until further notice.

Now England's top tier has followed suit based on medical advice, meaning no handshakes will take place between the two sets of players and also officials prior to matches, starting with this weekend.

"Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake," the Premier League said in a statement on their official website.

"Clubs and match officials will still perform the rest of the traditional walk-out protocol ahead of each fixture.

"On entering the field of play, the two teams will continue to line up, accompanied by the Premier League music, then players from the home team will walk past their opposition without shaking their hands."

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Story first published: Friday, March 6, 2020, 1:30 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 6, 2020
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