Spitting could be banned when football returns to prevent coronavirus spreading

Aston Villa v Manchester City - Premier League

Spitting could become a yellow-card offence when football returns due to the potential spread of coronavirus on the pitch.

Plans for football to return across Europe are underway but there is a genuine concern about players’ health.

And saliva which stays on the pitch could lead to Covid-19 spreading.

So players have been urged by FIFA’s Medical Committee chairman to change their mannerisms when they return to action, with yellow cards and even potential bans being handed out as punishment.

“This is a common practice in football and it is not very hygienic,” Michel D'Hooge told The Telegraph.

“So when we start football again I think we should have to avoid that at maximum. The question is whether that will be possible. Perhaps they can give a yellow card. 

“It is unhygienic and a good way to spread the virus. This is one of the reasons why we have to be very careful before we start again. I am not pessimistic but I am rather sceptical at the moment.”

Watford FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League

Scientific experts have warned that coronavirus could spread from player to player if spitting isn’t curbed, especially considering they could be asymptomatic while competing.

Dr Ian Brierley, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, said, per the Daily Mail: “If the person is infected but asymptomatic, or infected and symptomatic, the virus is present in the throat, and can be ejected into the environment by spitting.

“Players may have to develop new celebrations so that they are not in close contact with each other.

“Pre-match handshakes, huddles at the start of a game and shirt swapping at the end of the match would also send out a poor message."

Tottenham Hotspur v Norwich City - FA Cup Fifth Round

It's not yet clear when football will return but expect to see some new measures introduced when it does.

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