Strict protocols for EPL practice
Premier League players are set to be subjected to a strict testing regime if they are to return to training amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to British media reports.
The BBC said it had seen a copy of official protocols sent to all 20 clubs detailing the need for corner-flags, balls, cones, goalposts and even playing surfaces to be disinfected after each training session.
Other measures in the guidance include twice-weekly testing, a daily pre-training questionnaire and temperature checks. Should a player test positive, with or without symptoms, they will be forced to self-isolate for seven days.
All players will have to travel to a training ground individually and tackling will reportedly be banned for the first phase of team training.
England internationals Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose are the two latest high-profile players to raise concerns over a return to contact sport when the rest of society is being advised to follow social-distancing guidelines.
“The moment we do go back it just needs to be a moment where it’s not just for footballing reasons, it’s safe for not just us footballers but the whole medical staff, referees,” Sterling told his YouTube channel.
London mayor Sadiq Khan has come out against the idea of playing matches in the capital at this stage, with the city having been particularly badly hit by the pandemic.
Five of the 20 Premier League sides are based in London.