FILE PHOTO: Manchester United v Watford – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – February 23, 2020 General view of a match ball held by Manchester United’s David de Gea during the warm up before the match. Image: Reuters

The English Premier League season will resume on Wednesday without fans after a three-month stoppage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following are the people allowed inside stadiums as well as the protocols and requirements for clubs to host matches: 

• All the remaining games will be played without fans. 

• A maximum of 300 people — including broadcast staff, written media, commentators, doping officials and scouts — will be allowed inside stadiums on matchdays. 

• Stadiums will be split into red, amber and green zones with each team’s red zone pass holders to include 20 players, 12 coaching and medical staff and a further five “essential staff”. 

• The amber zone will include non-essential staff, such as analysts, while all others will be placed in the green zone. 

• Players will undergo COVID-19 tests at their club’s training ground before travelling to stadiums for matches. 

• Teams will take the field separately, not side-by-side, and games will feature drinks breaks midway through each half. 

• Players will line up for the Premier League anthem in a staggered formation rather than form a straight line as before. 

• There will be no pre-match handshakes between teams and no handshakes at the coin toss. 

• There will be no ballboys or ballgirls and players will have to use spare balls placed around the pitch if a match ball goes into the stands. 

• Players must maintain distance during goal celebrations. 

• Players cannot spit or clear their noses on the field of play. 

• Players must avoid mass confrontations with opponents and cannot crowd match officials. 

• Players should use their own water bottles and make use of hand-sanitisers before and after every match. 

• Medical staff will wear protective equipment when treating players. 

• Substitutes and managers on the bench will not be required to wear masks and players do not have to wear them when entering the stadium or dressing room. 

• Teams can have nine players on the bench instead of seven and can make five substitutes during a match, instead of three. 

• The technical area for managers will be reconfigured to allow for greater social distancing, as will team dugouts. 

• Corner flags, goalposts, substitution boards and match balls will be thoroughly disinfected before games.

• Clubs will be encouraged to travel by plane and avoid staying in hotels before games. 

• Clubs are expected to use at least three coaches for matchday travel with drivers who have already undergone novel coronavirus tests.



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