Premier League stars face sanctions for goal celebrations which break Covid-19 rules

Top flight stars who continue to break social distancing rules with goal celebrations could face tough sanctions from Premier League bosses.

The warning comes amid growing fears that football’s failure to follow strict protocols could ruin efforts to keep elite sport going during the current Covid-19 lockdown.

The Premier League has introduced stronger Covid protocols at clubs this week, in a bid to reduce the growing number of positive cases and postponed games.

These include making substitutes wear masks when sat in the stands and banning “unnecessary contact at all times” between players, managers and coaching staff, including handshakes and hugging.

But following numerous breaches of the rules during last weekend’s FA Cup third round ties, Premier League chiefs fear those in question are not taking the issue seriously enough.

Premier League footballers are still celebrating goals in big groups
(Image: Offside via Getty Images)

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In conjunction with the Professional Footballers’ Association, players and managers will now be reminded of their responsibilities – and those who continue to ignore the guidelines could be fined or even banned.

A Premier League source said: “The protocols are in place for a good reason, which we all know about.

“Ultimately the players are aware of them and it’s their responsibility to stick to them. Anyone who doesn’t runs the risk of sanctions. The onus is on everyone.”

All 20 top flight clubs have been appointed a compliance officer, who has now been given a more robust remit when it comes to keeping tabs on how clubs operate and has access to training grounds, stadiums and even changing rooms.

Premier League footballers have not been following social distancing rules on the pitch
(Image: Shaun Botterill/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

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