FIFA Medical Committee is considering enacting a new rule to hand out yellow cards to the soccer players who continue to spit, once the matches are resumed after pandemic lockdown.
Since saliva is a potential carrier to spread coronavirus, FIFA’s Medical Committee Chairman Michel D’Hooghe has clearly stated that spitting will be dealt with strict measures such as the issuance of a yellow card or a complete ban.
Addressing the matter, D’Hooge stated that players have to change their unhygienic habits if they don’t want to be banned.
He told The Telegraph: “This is a common practice in soccer and it is not very hygienic.
“So when we start soccer again I think we should have to avoid that at maximum. The question is whether that will be possible. Perhaps they can give a yellow card.”
He added: “It is unhygienic and a good way to spread the virus. This is one of the reasons why we have to be very careful before we start again. I am not pessimistic but I am rather skeptical at the moment.”
World health experts have also stressed the fact that asymptomatic soccer players could infect others if they continue to spit as usual.
Dr. Ian Brierley, a virologist at the University of Cambridge, explained: “If the person is infected but asymptomatic, or infected and symptomatic, the virus is present in the throat, and can be ejected into the environment by spitting.
“Players may have to develop new celebrations so that they are not in close contact with each other. Pre-match handshakes, huddles at the start of a game and shirt swapping at the end of the match would also send out a poor message.”
People are also appealing to make a similar rule for cricket before the sport returns as cricketers frequently use their saliva to make the ball swing.
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