Premier League players will be told to wear masks at all times while spitting and tackling will be prohibited as part of new guidelines for clubs to follow during their training sessions.
Metro.co.uk reports that the aim is to resume the English top flight on June 8 but the Premier League’s ‘Project Restart’ plan has already faced widespread opposition.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Brighton and West Ham have allowed players to return to their training grounds this week, but some clubs, including Manchester United, have no imminent plans to reopen their facilities.
Premier League clubs are due to meet on Friday to discuss plans to resume the season in June.
And according to documents seen by the Daily Express, the Premier League has already provided guidelines for players and clubs to follow when they resume training.
Initially, players will only be allowed to work in groups of five or smaller, while physical contact including tackling and close-proximity drills are banned.
GUIDELINES FOR EVERY PREMIER LEAGUE CLUB
• Every player to be tested for Covid-19 but also potential respiratory problems associated with the virus.
• All footballs, GPS units, cones, corner flags, goalposts and other equipment to be disinfected before and after use by staff wearing PPE.
• Players to wear masks at all times.
• Players and staff will be banned from spitting.
• Cars to be parked three spaces apart.
• No massages unless approved by a club doctor.
• Fluids to be left at a designated pick up point.
• Only visit training block to use the toilet.
• Only five players per training group.
• Tackling and close-contact training drills are prohibited.
• Players to be given designated time slots: 15 minutes to prepare, 75 minutes of small group training, 15 minutes recovery.
• Spitting is also prohibited while all equipment used during training sessions, including balls and cones, will be disinfected before and after use.
• Sessions will last 75 minutes in total with 15 minutes of recovery time, and players will be given 15 minutes to prepare.
• Players will be unable to receive massages unless it is approved by the club doctor.
The dressing rooms are also out of bounds unless a player wants to use the toilet. In their documents, the Premier League has stressed to clubs that social-distancing measures must be observed at all times and advice will continually be updated in accordance to Government guidelines.
It’s understood that players from several different Premier League clubs are against the idea of football returning during the coronavirus pandemic and have raised concerns over their safety if matches are allowed to take place.
Meanwhile, Britain’s most senior police officer has warned that football will be cancelled if fans attempt to congregate outside stadiums and contravene social distancing guidelines.