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7 Ways Coronavirus Has Changed Football Matches

The return of the Premier League and other football leagues after the few months halt was a cause for celebration for football fans all over the world. However, the return comes with new changes to prevent the spread of the virus among players. Players are now playing behind closed doors in empty stadiums, plus this should also observe social distancing. Let’s have a look at predictions and some of the changes in football as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

More Substitutions

Previously, a team was only allowed to make three substitutions in a game, but each side can now make up to five substitutions in a match. This new rule has been added to make it up for fatigue and injuries since teams are required to play games after a lowered gap of 2-3 days.

Teams Will Only Have Three Slots for Substitutions

Before this rule, mangers would make their substitutions whenever they deemed necessary. This new rule has given three time slots for the teams to make substitutions, including the half time break. The new rule will eliminate unnecessary time waste and allow smooth matches.

Wide Gap on Benches

Players sitting in the substitution bench are required to maintain social distance, and they can also wear masks. The same rules apply to the non-playing staff in the technical area.

Celebrating at a Distance

Team members will not be allowed to celebrate their goals or wins as a group. The scorer can celebrate, but teammates are not allowed to join him as it was before. This rule is part of the social distancing measures to prevent the spread of the virus among players.

No Pre-Match Handshakes

Pre-match handshakes are a common practice in football, but it is now banned during matches to minimise contact among players and limit the spread of the virus.

Empty Stadiums

Matches are now being played in an empty stadium, meaning fans are now watching the action at home. Most countries have banned huge gatherings as they can cause huge outbreaks and stadiums are no exception.

Red Card for Deliberate Coughing

Players who cough deliberately at opponents or referees will be shown yellow or red cards. According to FIFA, this offence will fall under the category of using abusive or insulting language or gestures. It is the referee’s role to differentiate the offensive coughing from routine coughing, plus they should also remind players to avoid spitting on the ground.

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