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Footy handshake ban hits local sides

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By Euan Maxwell
Footy handshake ban hits local sides

FOOTBALL players and officials across Scotland, including locally, have been instructed not to shake hands before and after matches due to coronavirus.

Scottish football authorities this week announced a joint approach to address the implications of the coronavirus outbreak, which included the suspension of the traditional shaking hands between teams. The new guidelines were announced on Tuesday afternoon and will remain in place until further notice.

Dumfries side Queen of the South were one of the first teams to follow the new orders during their Scottish Championship match in Glasgow on Tuesday night.

It comes after a response group had been convened to centralise guidance, evaluation and action on the impact the global spread of the virus will have on Scottish football. A letter sent from the response group to football clubs read: “As you may be aware from yesterday’s circular, the Scottish FA and Scottish Professional Football League have formed a joint response group to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus in the national game. At today’s daily briefing, it was agreed that with immediate effect we would seek to suspended the traditional practice of shaking hands between opponents and match officials prior to and following matches.

“This is keeping with the Scottish Government’s circulated guidance on appropriate steps to reduce person-to-person contact and the resultant spread of the infection, and will remain in effect until further notice. We would request that you instruct all players, coaching staff and match officials on the latest guidance prior to the latest round of fixtures, starting this evening.”

The group has committed to a joint approach to ensure consistent and co-ordinated messaging to supporters, clubs, national teams, players, match officials, staff and other key stakeholders potentially affected by the escalation of the outbreak.