Premier League captains and managers are set to meet with the league’s authorities to discuss the new Covid-19 protocols amid ‘concerns’ over potential government intervention.
Football is coming under increasing pressure following a number of protocol breaches in recent weeks, with the sport receiving criticism for several wild celebrations following the FA Cup third round fixtures last weekend.
The worsening situation of the pandemic in the United Kingdom has led to questions over whether elite sport should continue, and the Premier League are said to be ‘eager to do anything the government say’ to ensure the season is allowed to continue.
A number of Premier League sides have been hit by widespread outbreaks of coronavirus this season resulting in a number of fixture postponements and rescheduling, with Aston Villa’s game against Everton the latest to be axed.
Players have already been urged not to hug, shake hands or swap shirts in a bid to combat the spread of the virus, with The Athletic reporting that there will now be a meeting among league officials, managers and club captains in a bid to curb ‘growing criticism of non-compliance’.
The Premier League have written to clubs to remind them of the Covid-19 protocols, whilst referees will also be instructed to speak to captains before fixtures.
The government have said that protocols that apply to elite sport must be followed ‘strictly’ given the current climate and have warned that authorities must enforce the measures.
Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze was this week criticised following his unauthorised attendance of a Queens Park Rangers fixture last weekend, the 22-year-old pictured in the director’s box at his former side as they were beaten 2-0 by Fulham in the FA Cup third round.
Eze was pictured without a mask during the contest with Palace manager Roy Hodgson critical of the player’s ‘naivety’, whilst the FA are understood to be investigating the incident ahead of potential punishment.