Tackling could be banned as part of strict new guidelines as Premier League clubs prepare to return to group training following the coronavirus suspension.

While the Premier League continues discussions over ‘Project Restart’ – to decide when top-flight football will resume – preparations are being made for group training sessions.

According to BBC Sport, official protocols were sent to players and managers on Tuesday which reveal that social distancing must be “strictly observed” along with new guidelines to adhere to.

Teams such as Arsenal, Tottenham and West Ham have already held short training sessions with players keeping to social distancing rules by participating in individual sessions.

But there will be more stringent procedures in place, with measures including disinfecting playing surfaces after each session and ensuring equipment such as cones, goalposts and balls are thoroughly cleaned.

It is also reported that Premier League bosses are hopeful that the training sessions, limited to 75 minutes, will take place from Monday, May 18.

Under the new guidelines, players will be tested for Covid-19 bi-weekly and required to fill out a daily questionnaire before training.

With relation to “control measures”, it reportedly includes “meticulous personal hygiene and use of personal protective equipment (PPE), no congregation in communal areas, including but not limited to medical rooms and gym areas”.

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While many players usually carpool to their club’s respective training ground, this will no longer be allowed and team vehicles “should not be used”, the report adds.

The Premier League are hoping to end the league’s suspension with its first fixture by June 12 and these measures could be crucial in helping League bosses convince club executives that it is safe to return.


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