Covid-19 safety measures in football

Referees use disinfection spray to protect themselves and to increase awareness of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Picture: Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Referees use disinfection spray to protect themselves and to increase awareness of the Covid-19 coronavirus. Picture: Eren Bozkurt/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

According to information received from the Swiss Football Association medical team, football clubs and supporters need to take the following precautions in the wake of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic:

  • Do not drink from the same water bottle during a game or training; always use a personalised water bottle and do not exchange items such as towels and bathrobes with other players;
  • Avoid eating food in the changing room;
  • Keep your personal items and clothes in your bag, and avoid leaving them exposed in the changing rooms or in communal baskets;
Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Throw paper handkerchiefs and materials such as plasters and bandages immediately into appropriate lockable containers;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly as often as possible. Hand washing and disinfection are essential to preventing infections. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rinse them thoroughly and then dry them with a disposable towel. If soap and water are not available, use a hand disinfectant containing at least 60% alcohol;
  • When using public toilets, do not touch the tap before and after washing your hands, instead use disposable towels to open and close the tap;
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a handkerchief – preferably a disposable handkerchief – or with your arm, but not with your hand, when you cough or sneeze;
  • Players who show symptoms of respiratory infection and/or fever before, during or after training must immediately leave the rest of the team and isolate themselves if possible, and inform the club’s doctor, who will, if there is any indication of infection, take further steps;
  • Inform the players and club officials if you have had any contact, either personally or within your family, with persons who have returned from risk areas or quarantine or have been quarantined or tested, or if you have been in a risk area yourself;
Clubs must check in advance the hygienic conditions of all changing rooms, including the changing rooms of the host team, referees and ball boys
  • Clubs must install automatic dispensers with appropriate disinfectant and cleaning solutions in both their locker rooms and toilets;
  • Clubs must ensure that tables, benches, chairs, hangers, floors, taps, handles, showers and toilets are regularly disinfected with disinfectant solutions that contain bleach or chlorine, solvents, 75% ethanol, acetic acid and chloroform;
  • Clubs must limit the presence of people in their changing rooms to a few specific, authorised persons;
  • The league and clubs should limit access to the field of play, as far as possible, to those personnel who are strictly necessary to carry out the training or match;
  • Club doctors must pay particular attention to the medical history, objective examination and, above all, the taking of temperature before each training session and the dressing before each match for all team personnel, coaches and players. The team doctors must ensure and document before each match and training session that no sick persons take part in the match or training, or are in the team’s vicinity;
  • Clubs must check in advance the hygienic conditions of all changing rooms, including the changing rooms of the host team, referees and ball boys, as well as room prepared for doping tests;
  • The health officers of clubs must actively participate in the organising of the trips, checking the best possible protective devices for preventative purposes, and they must ensure their presence throughout the trip;
  • Clubs must ensure that the health and medical staff, doctors, physiotherapist and masseurs who are in constant contact with the players do not simultaneously work in environments or carry out external activities that could be contagious. – Safa

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