Players have been reminded by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) to be careful when celebrating goals as the number of COVID-19 cases in England continues to grow.
The Premier League, Women’s Super League, English Football League and FA Cup — both men’s and women’s — have all had games postponed this season due to the pandemic.
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“We’ve sent a message to all our members saying: ‘You have done a great job, you’ve kept the game going and you deserve a lot of credit, but it’s important you keep to the protocols,’” PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor told the Times.
“Always abide by what you’re being told by doctors and medical staff with regard to the protocols about keeping your distance and the hygiene that’s required.
“I understand with the celebration of a goal it’s difficult to just put the ball in the back of the net and act as though nothing has happened.
“It’s that adrenaline rush… that’s what the game is all about, but that’s part and parcel of the process, so they’ll be reminded.”
At the beginning of the pandemic, players were encouraged not to hug while celebrating goals and instead touch elbows or come up with alternative and distanced celebrations.
A number of players have been criticised for disregarding the pandemic off the pitch including Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso alongside West Ham United’s Manuel Lanzini who were pictured spending time together at Christmas.
In the WSL, two games at the weekend have been postponed after a number of players from Manchester City and Arsenal travelled to Dubai over the Christmas break and contracted coronavirus.
While City sanctioned the trip for its players as Manchester was in Tier 3, the Arsenal players did not make the club aware of their intent to travel.