Players will run the gauntlet of missing months of the season if they fail to keep their bodily fluids to themselves under new protocols being produced by organizers from Romania’s professional league and the country’s FA, who hope to resume the season on June 13 after a three-month suspension.
Government leaders will consider the strategy document, which warns of lengthy bans and fines for new offences which could spread the novel coronavirus, with a view to allowing action to return in front of a maximum of 150 fans.
The FA has until the end of the week to submit plans to UEFA on how it intends to complete the season, which has seen the six teams in top division Liga I complete only two matches so far.
In a repeat of the kind of strict conditions that are rumored to be under consideration as part of the potential return of England’s Premier League in June, players will also be told to stay at least two meters apart during the pre-match warm-up.
Many fans welcomed the regulations and pointed out that the familiar sight of players and staff spitting during matches is an unedifying part of the sport that had created questions around hygiene long before the current pandemic.
Responding to the announcement by the Premier League earlier today that it has allowed clubs to return to contract training, one argued: “Footballers spit like llamas. Not spitting is going to be the biggest hurdle.”
Others said that the rule seemed impractical in the light of seeing players in the Bundesliga, which is the only major league to have returned to action to date, appearing to continue to spit during matches.
Players in England will be prohibited from spitting when top-level fixtures recommence, according to a report in The Athletic that claimed footballers “might struggle” with observing the rule as part of a new 40-page guidance document.
At Wolverhampton Wanderers, measures include players having their temperatures checked on arrival at the club’s training ground and heading on to the training pitch in single file as part of attempts to reduce contact and the potential spread of COVID-19.
Premier League clubs voted unanimously to return to group sessions from tomorrow, with a return date around the same time as the Romanian league thought to be in their sights.