Premier League calls off match; urges captains to end hugs, handshakes

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 14, 2021, 06.28 PM(IST)

Premier League calls off match, urges captains to end hugs, handshakes Photograph:( AFP )

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The COVID-19 outbreak at Aston Villa has forced their Premier League match against Everton to be postponed as the Premier League holds talks with captains and managers to urge them to keep up with the enhanced regulation to curb the spread of the dreaded virus. 

The COVID-19 outbreak at Aston Villa has forced their Premier League match against Everton to be postponed as the Premier League holds talks with captains and managers to urge them to keep up with the enhanced regulation to curb the spread of the dreaded virus. 

“A significant number of players and staff remain in isolation” at Villa, the league said on Thursday. 

Aston Villa, whose match against Tottenham Hotspur was also called off, are expecting the isolating players and staff to return to training from Sunday. 

The Premier League has tightened up the COVID-19 protocols as the United Kingdom continue to fight against the virus. The players and managers have been asked to avoid handshake and hugging during goal celebrations with the message being reinforced in virtual meetings with captains and managers before this weekend's matches. 

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“Some of the scenes we have seen have been brainless and give out an awful message,” said Julian Knight, who chairs the House of Commons select committee overseeing sports policy. 

The Premier League, like other elite sports competitions, has been allowed to continue during the recent lockdown in England which started last week. However, the government on Wednesday expressed concerns about players not following regulations when it comes to celebrating goals. 

Manchester City players hugged after Phil Foden's strike in their 1-0 win over Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday. Pep Guardiola, after the match, defended his players. 

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“Sometimes the brain is a subconscious one and you are just there in the moment,” City manager Pep Guardiola said. “You are not thinking.” 

Britain recorded another 1,564 deaths, announced on Wednesday, the highest on a single day since the pandemic began in 2020. 

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