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PL set for crisis meetings with managers and captains to address new Covid rules

Published on: 14 January 2021

A series of urgent meetings have been set up between the Premier League, captains and managers to address the new Covid protocols - amid fears that continued non-compliance may trigger government intervention.

As Sportsmail revealed last week, a series of stringent measures were sent to clubs in the wake of the new strain of the pandemic.

Players were told that they should avoid hugging, high-fives and handshakes, with sanctions promised for breaches. However, top flight matches since the protocols were sent out have seen repeated instances of group hugs following goals. Sheffield United and both Manchester clubs are among those to have celebrated as normal.

Sportsmail can reveal that the ongoing situation has prompted worried Premier League officials to take action.

They will hold a series of calls with captains, managers and key staff – thought to be safety officers – on Thursday and Friday.

Four summits will be held on each afternoon. On the calls they are expected to be reminded of the new protocols, the reasoning behind them and the potential impact that repeated non-compliance could have.

On Wednesday, Professor Jonathan Van-Tam said footballers needed to avoid unnecessary forms of physical contact. But the same evening, City’s players celebrated Phil Foden's winning, first-half goal against Brighton & Hove Albion with a nine-man hug.


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