Pre-match protocols altered indefinitely in Ligue 1 amid coronavirus fears
- With fears over coronavirus increasing in France, the LFP has issued an indefinite alteration to pre-match protocols in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2.
The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has altered the pre-match protocol of French football leagues until further notice amid the spread of coronavirus as it published fresh guidance on Wednesday.
COVID-19 was discovered in the Hubei region of China in December last year and has since gone on to infect people in 77 countries, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
With 212 recorded cases, France is the third most-affected European country, behind Italy (2,502) and Germany (240).
Top-flight sport in France is yet to impacted on a scale similar to Italy, where matches have been postponed to limit the illness' spread.
But, after banning handshakes before the previous round of fixtures, LFP has again revised its pre-match protocol for Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches.
A statement read: "In constant contact with the public authorities (Ministry of the Interior, Ministry of Sports, Ministry of Health), the LFP will work on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Prefectures, the clubs concerned and the broadcasters, in each situation that arises by scrupulously respecting the recommendations of the government and by applying the decisions of the local prefects.
"In order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus and to promote barrier gestures, the LFP competitions commission modified the pre-match protocol.
"This new set-up, which aims to avoid shaking hands, will apply until further notice in LFP competitions:
"The players and the central referee will hold mascot kids by the shoulder during the entrance of the teams.
"After the lining up of the players, they will disperse on the field.
"Handshakes between coaches, referees and delegates will be removed."
However, there remain no restrictions specifically relating to the matches or the attending of games for the time being.Published 04 Mar 2020, 23:36 IST