Coronavirus: Premier League scraps pre-match handshakes

As the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Britain rises, the Premier League has confirmed there will be no pre-match handshakes.

Handshakes in the Premier League prior to games will not take place until further notice.   -  Getty Images

The Premier League has confirmed there will be no pre-match handshakes at games until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With the virus spreading globally and confirmed cases rising across Europe and in Britain, sporting events have understandably been impacted.


On Wednesday, the Italian government announced that events will be staged behind closed doors until April 3, though England's Six Nations clash with Italy has since been postponed.

In France, the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has altered the pre-match protocol of all its matches until further notice.

Now England's top tier has followed suit based on medical advice, meaning no handshakes will take place between the two sets of players and also officials prior to matches, starting with this weekend.

READ | Ighalo double seals United's FA Cup quarterfinal spot

"Coronavirus is spread via droplets from the nose and mouth and can be transmitted on to the hands and passed on via a handshake," the Premier League said in a statement on their official website.

"Clubs and match officials will still perform the rest of the traditional walk-out protocol ahead of each fixture.

"On entering the field of play, the two teams will continue to line up, accompanied by the Premier League music, then players from the home team will walk past their opposition without shaking their hands."