The archive photo from this Saturday, November 21, 2020 shows a glimpse of a social detachment message displayed outside Villa Park stadium, home of Aston Villa, in Birmingham, England. Aston Villa on Thursday, January 7, 2021 reported a “significant” coronavirus outbreak and closed its training ground the day before the FA Cup home game against Liverpool. Villa says that “discussions are ongoing between the club’s medical representatives, the Football Federation and the Premier League.”
The Premier League warned clubs on Friday that disciplinary action would be taken for violating coronavirus rules amid a sharp rise in cases, including 10 Aston Villa players forced into solitary confinement after testing positive.
The outbreak at Villa threatens their Premier League games next week, but the team will still play in the FA Cup fixture against Liverpool on Friday using only young players.
In games, players have become more relaxed and the league wants them to minimize contact. Clubs have been told in a letter from the league that handshakes, hugs and jersey swaps should cease in order to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19 – especially with a more transmissible variant of the disease circulating in England.
The government has allowed professional sport to continue, although England have been placed in their last block this week and some players have been implicated in breaking national rules over Christmas with parties.
“It is vital to ensure the confidence of the public, government and stakeholders in training and travel protocols so that the individual transgressions of those concerned are properly investigated and sanctioned by the clubs,” the league told clubs in a letter first published on the Web site “The Daily Telegraph”.
“Failure to comply with this recommendation may result in disciplinary action by the league individually against the person concerned, if applicable (for example, when your conduct brings the league into disrepute) and / or against the club (when the conduct of the person concerned constitutes a violation of training protocol). ”
The league can investigate the circumstances of outbreaks within teams to uncover the cause and assess whether action needs to be taken.
“There are times when young people stray from the rules,” Villa general manager Christian Purslow told Sky Sports, “and if you are a parent or general manager of a football club, this is the moment you have to be very strict and remind people of your responsibilities. ”
League compliance officers can visit training camps and locker rooms on match days to check that coronavirus protocols are being followed.
Clubs have been instructed to limit interactions between players and coaches outside of matches and training, including only the use of canteens the day before matches or on match days.
Anyone who comes into contact with players in the transport used to travel to the games will also need to test for COVID-19 in advance.
Villa’s training camp in central England has been closed after 14 positive cases – 10 of which were players – were discovered in two rounds of testing on Monday and Thursday.
Tests were also carried out on the youngsters to ensure that Villa could put a team against Liverpool in the FA Cup third round.
The squad will be made up of players from the Under-18 and Under-23 teams, with Under-23 coach Mark Delaney leading the squad in place of coach Dean Smith.
Villa’s next Premier League game is against Tottenham on Wednesday and Purslow was unsure if the game would go ahead.
Three Premier League games – Everton v Manchester City, Tottenham v Fulham and Burnley x Fulham – were postponed last week due to COVID-19 outbreaks between the clubs.
Many other games have been called off in England’s lower divisions.
The English Football League, which manages the three divisions below the Premier League, on Friday reported 112 positive cases of 3,507 players and officials tested in the latest round of checks. This is an infection rate of over 3%.