English Professional Footballers’ Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has said players will be reminded not to hug their team-mates during goal celebrations following a spate of coronavirus cases across the leagues.
Aston Villa are the latest Premier League club to be affected, with their third-round FA Cup clash against Liverpool now in doubt after a serious outbreak.
Speaking to The Times, Taylor said: “I do understand with the celebration of a goal it’s very difficult to just put the ball in the back of the net and act as though nothing has happened.
“It’s that adrenaline rush when a goal is scored and that’s what the game is all about, but that is part and parcel of the process, so they will be reminded.”
The PFA has sent a letter to players reminding them of their responsibility to adhere to protocols.
A number of players have been found to have breached the rules by socialising with other households, although the PFA praised the “collective efforts” of its members.
The letter read: “Your support has been a major factor in getting football up and running again, and we commend your collective efforts so far.
“We are now entering another critical stage of the pandemic. Although prospects are brighter due to the vaccine’s imminent rollout, players must continue to take the lead and act responsibly and professionally.
“Between now and the end of the season, we ask that you continue to take personal responsibility and follow the lockdown rules, without exception.”