Premier League will demand managers and captains relay tighter Covid rules in critical call

Dan Kilpatrick
·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

The Premier League will hold a series of conference calls with managers and captains across Thursday and Friday to remind them of the new strengthened Covid protocols.

It comes after further breaches on Wednesday night, with Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho sharing an embrace with his Fulham counterpart Scott Parker before a 1-1 draw and Manchester City's Pep Guardiola questioning the ban on players' celebrating in groups after his side's win over Brighton.

The new guidance, sent to clubs last week, instructs players not to hug, high-five or shake hands after scoring but Sheffield United, Everton and Manchester United players also overlooked the protocols on Tuesday night.

The Premier League insists this week's briefings were already in the diary to talk players and bosses through the guidelines but the summits have taken on more urgency, amid fierce scrutiny from Government.

Whitehall is privately questioning whether elite sport should be allowed to continue and Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, yesterday warned players to stick to the guidelines and told the game's authorities to "strictly" enforce the rules.

Four calls are set to take place on each afternoon, led by the Premier League's director of football Richard Garlick and its chief medical advisor Dr. Mark Gillett.

Parker admitted he would talk to his players, who celebrated in a group after Ivan Cavaleiro's late equaliser at Spurs.

"I feel like I'm probably going to," he said. "I didn't notice and I've not seen it back.

"I do have sympathy for the players. We're still playing football, these players are still getting judged, I'm getting judged, football clubs are getting judged. At the same time of course I understand the situation out there and protocols in play. Of course it's a conversation I'll have with the players."

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