Soccer

Government warn footballers over ‘avoidable’ goal celebrations


Footballers have been warned by England’s deputy chief medical officer Professor Jonathan Van-Tam to stop “avoidable” contact made during goal celebrations.

Players have often been seen grouping together to celebrate after scoring, while also embracing opponents at full-time.

Football has come under pressure recently with instances of players breaching Covid-19 protocol, such as Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze attending a match at former club QPR, and scenes last weekend with teams celebrating FA Cup victories.

And Professor Van-Tam has suggested players should avoid unnecessary contact during games because the  UK is in a “dangerous place”.

Asked if was time to issue “no kissing” advice, Professor Van-Tam told LBC Radio: “I completely agree with you.”

READ MORE: ‘Morally wrong’ or the right thing to do? The questions facing football as they play on through coronavirus

He added: “We cannot relax until we have a very substantially vaccinated population. Until then we are in a dangerous place – if you look at the NHS, we are in a dangerous place now.

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“Every close human contact that is avoidable should be avoided because one-in-three of us will get the infection and have no symptoms at all.

“So, I’m afraid, yes, on the football point, on the sporting point, I do agree with you.”

Discussion has already taken place about whether football should continue, with Steve Bruce claiming “morally, for me, it’s probably wrong”.

Several postponements in recent weeks have also put additional strain on the sport with little room in the calendar to accommodate many more rearranged fixtures.

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