28 April 2020

Players should be booked for spitting when Premier League returns, says FIFA medical chief

The Premier League should look at making spitting a yellow card offence when the season resumes, according to FIFA's medical chief.

All elite football in England has been suspended for over a month, but other European leagues such as Germany and Italy are beginning to make moves to seek a return to domestic action.

Certain Premier League clubs have returned to restricted training this week as they look to prepare for when the campaign gets back underway.

And in a bid to ensure the safety of everyone involved, FIFA's Medical Committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe believes banning spitting could be a necessary precaution.

Speaking to The Telegraph, he said: "This is a common practice in football and it is not very hygienic.

"So when we start football 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.

“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 sceptical at the moment.”

No top flight games have taken place in England since Leicester beat Aston Villa 4-0 at the King Power Stadium on March 9.

The domestic season was suspended after Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta confirmed he had tested positive for the virus.

The Spaniard made a full recovery and was reportedly present for the club's first training session back on Monday after the players spent seven weeks in lockdown.

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