English Premier League bans pre-game handshakes due to coronavirus

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Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Norwich City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - January 11, 2020 Manchester United and Norwich City players shake hands before the match REUTERS/Jon Super/Files
Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Norwich City – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – January 11, 2020 Manchester United and Norwich City players shake hands before the match REUTERS/Jon Super/Files

The Premier League has banned players and match officials from shaking hands from this weekend until further notice on medical advice.

Teams and officials will still participate in the pre-match walk-outs but have been advised against the tradition of shaking hands.

“The Premier League fair-play handshake will not take place between players and match officials from this weekend until further notice based on medical advice”, the league said in an official statement.

Premier League says Club and Match Officials will still perform the rest of the traditional walk-out protocol ahead of each fixture and that upon entering the field of play, the two teams will continue to line up, accompanied by the Premier League music. But then players from the home team will walk past their opposition without shaking their hands.

Clubs in English soccer’s top division including Newcastle United, Southampton, West Ham United and Wolverhampton Wanderers have banned handshakes at training sessions and other European clubs have taken similar measures to prevent spreading the virus.

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