Manchester United moves top, but ‘no hugs’ in future as EPL grapples with Covid-19 spike

In a document reportedly sent out to teams on Tuesday, made public on social media, organizers underlined that behaviors throughout coaching and matches should change, while strengthening a number of the protocols in place.

The league reminded groups that “unnecessary contact, particularly between opposition clubs including handshakes, high fives and hugs must be avoided” and that swapping of shirts after the sport is now prohibited.

Speaking after his facet’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Tuesday, a outcome which sees United sit high of the desk, Solskjaer mentioned it is exhausting to maintain feelings beneath management when passions are operating excessive.

United gamers celebrated by hugging one another on Tuesday after Paul Pogba scored the one aim of the sport.

“It’s an emotional game but we have to understand the players when they celebrate but we also understand the concern nowadays for a bit less emotion and less hugging,” Solskjaer informed reporters.

“But it’s difficult because football brings out the best and the worst in you. Of course when you score you want to celebrate with your teammates.

“We will do our greatest to maintain with the rules after all we are going to as a result of we I believe all of us need soccer to hold on safely. I believe mentally for many individuals it is a reduction but we perceive the state of affairs that the nation is in.”

Whilst lockdown restrictions have been imposed throughout the UK amid record high confirmed cases, elite sport has been allowed to proceed, although organizers have urged golf equipment to abide by a strict algorithm.
And match officials and compliance officers will check that clubs are following the updated guidance amid a number of breaches in recent weeks.

Players from Tottenham and Manchester City, amongst others, were caught breaking rules over the festive period.

On Monday, the league announced 36 players and club staff had tested positive in the latest round of testing. It comes as the UK passed the grim tally of 80,000 deaths as a result of Covid-19.

Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage Nigel Huddleston urged teams to diligently abide by the rules.

“Everyone in the nation has needed to change the best way they work together with individuals and methods of working. Footballers are not any exception,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Covid safe tips exist for soccer. Footballers should comply with them and soccer authorities implement them — strictly.”

According to the BBC, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters wrote a letter to clubs saying he was concerned to see players ignore social distancing measures over the weekend.

“This brings justified further scrutiny and the league should take the lead in setting the precise instance,” he said.

CNN has reached out to the Premier League but is yet to receive a response.

Five EPL matches have already been postponed due to Covid-19 outbreaks this season and Aston Villa’s tie with Everton on Saturday is the latest to be under threat with multiple Villa players and staff self-isolating.

Surprise leaders across Europe

Solskjaer’s side now sit three points clear of second-placed Liverpool ahead of its trip to Anfield on Sunday, in what could be a pivotal moment in the title race.

It’s the first time Manchester United has been top of the table at the turn of the year since it won the league in 2013.

“We should hold calm, now it’s the large second. We will see what’s going to occur,” Pogba said after Tuesday’s match.

Elsewhere in Europe, Atletico Madrid underlined its title credentials in Spain after beating Sevilla 2-0 on Tuesday.

Goals from Angel Correa and Saul Niguez were enough to earn all three points against an inform Sevilla side.

The result means Atletico is now four points clear of second-placed Real Madrid having played two games less.

Atleti last won La Liga in 2014, also the last time the title hasn’t gone to either Real Madrid or Barcelona.

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