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


Premier League set for crisis meetings with managers and captains of clubs to address new Covid rules… amid fears of Government intervention if players continue to hug and high-five

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.

Premier League officials will hold calls with clubs over the new Covid protocols on contact

Premier League officials will hold calls with clubs over the new Covid protocols on contact

Despite being urged not to, players are still celebrating with hugs, high-fives and handshakes

Despite being urged not to, players are still celebrating with hugs, high-fives and handshakes

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.

Manchester United stars broke new Covid rules by celebrating as a group on Tuesday night

Manchester United stars broke new Covid rules by celebrating as a group on Tuesday night

Everton players also ignored the rules when celebrating Alex Iwobi's goal against Wolves

Everton players also ignored the rules when celebrating Alex Iwobi’s goal against Wolves

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