Premier League told to ban spitting and give players yellow cards if caught

The Premier League has been advised to ban spitting during matches in order to stop the threat of coronavirus and give players who ignore the rule a yellow card.

The English top flight is aiming to return on June 8 and discussions will continue this week to determine how the league can be concluded safely and in accordance with Government guidelines should lockdown and social distancing measures remain in place.

Arsenal, Tottenham, West Ham and Brighton have allowed players to return to the training ground this week as clubs begin initial prepations to resume the halted season.

But Fifa’s Medical Committee chairman, Michel D’Hooghe, believes spitting, which is commonplace in football across the world, should be outlawed as it poses more of a health risk to players following the coronavirus outbreak.

‘This is a common practice in football and it is not very hygienic,’ 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.’

Meanwhile, the opening of the Premier League transfer window is set to be moved until the end of August.

Clubs typically begin their summer spending sprees in June, but following the disruption due to the coronavirus outbreak, the window is expected to be pushed back.

Elsewhere, several new measures are being considered as part of ‘Project Restart’ in a bid to get the Premier League season safely back on track.

More substitutions have been proposed during games as a solution to combat player fatigue as the campaign will be completed in a short period of time.

The ball will be sterilised at regular intervals, players will be forced to train separately and observe social distancing guidelines.

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