Premier League have hired teams of inspectors to visit club training ground and ensure clubs are sticking to new coronavirus safety measures – including cutting down on spitting during sessions. That’s according to the Daily Mirror, who claim the league have sought officials to visit training bases around the country to ensure players and staff are continuing to meet guidelines.
It’s thought the check-ups have seen some clubs warned that players – who have become accustomed to freely spitting on pitches during matches and in training – must cut down on clearing their throats.
The act has become almost second nature to many players and they are not doing it in order to deliberately break rules.
But spitting can spread coronavirus germs several metres and so stars will be asked not to do so as part of new protocols implemented to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
While there were no positive tests in the latest round of Premier League checks, there is still the possibility of players contracting the virus in their day-to-day life outside of training or playing matches.
Other measures implemented include equipment being thoroughly decontaminated, the sharing of water bottles being banned and no shirts swaps or team celebrations.
Teams are back in full contact training but inspectors have been sent out to make sure all rules are being complied with ahead of the return to games in two weeks’ time.
The Premier League restarts its season on Wednesday June 17, when Manchester City host Arsenal and Aston Villa take on Sheffield United.
As well as making personal visits, video and GPS technology is being used to spy on training sessions.
Players are expected to maintain social distancing wherever possible and so cannot gather too close off of the pitch.
The Mirror add, however, that there are no punishments set out for any team who should breach the guidelines on multiple occasions.
Sides have also been given the thumbs up to hold friendly matches in the coming weeks in order to get players back up to match speed.
Clubs can take on teams within a 90-minute travel distance of them provided they follow strict instructions.
Players will have to make their own way to the friendlies rather than travelling together via coaches.
Similarly, when the season restarts, clubs will be asked to use spacious private planes that make it easier for players to stay two metres apart rather than using coaches or trains to travel long distances to away games.
Elsewhere, clubs like Everton face having to install portakabins to comply with new safety protocols that could be introduced by the league this week.
The latest meeting of the 20 clubs will take place on Thursday, when new measures will be discussed.
Teams may be forced to use portakabins to allow players to get changed in, particularly the Toffees with their small Goodison Park changing rooms.
Everton’s stars may have to take up both the home and away dressing rooms to allow players to stay 2m apart, with the away side then using a portakabin and making their own way to the pitch given the tight tunnel at Goodison.
Watford’s Vicarage Road and Burnley’s Turf Moor are other stadiums that might need changes to be deemed acceptable for use by the authorities.
Published at Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:27:00 +0000