PFA reminds players to maintain distance when celebrating goals
The Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has reminded players to embrace a sensible approach to celebrating goals amid the COVID-19 crisis and refrain from hugging or getting too close to each other, The Times newspaper reported.
Four Premier League games and over 50 games in the English Football League - which governs the three divisions below the top flight - have been postponed this season with some FA Cup ties this weekend in doubt.
“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.”
Declan Kidney, the director of rugby of London Irish, said players may resort to creative, choreographed celebrations after Premiership Rugby introduced similar protocols to combat the virus.
“You could see some ridiculous celebrations, but if they’re safer, I’d prefer to see ridiculous and safe,” Kidney said.
Several soccer players have also breached COVID-19 guidelines by attending events on New Year’s Eve, including Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic who was rebuked by manager Scott Parker.
“He understands he’s made a mistake,” Parker said. “It was irresponsible. It’s not acceptable. We’ve dealt with that as a club internally.”
But Taylor said players “are human beings and this happens”, adding that was the reason for the PFA’s reminder on protocols.
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- Muller wouldn’t feature regularly that season but he went on to score in the Champions League knockout stages coming on as a substitute against Sporting Lisbon.
- Musiala has been making steady progress since he joined Bayern’s under-17 team from Chelsea in 2019. He has made 27 appearances for the first team, scoring four goals.
- Barcelona faces an even bigger hurdle next week when it visits Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League trailing 4-1 from the first leg. But the team can aspire to keep up its positive momentum in the Spanish league.
- The first leg, originally scheduled to be held at the Red Bull Arena in Germany, was shifted to Budapest after German authorities denied Liverpool entry into the country due to Covid-19 protocols.