It’s the moment we’ve been waiting for: football is finally back! If you’re into the game as much as we are, you’ll be interested to hear about the new rules that have been implemented for the upcoming league.
From Black Lives Matter and NHS badges to a new limited ‘Red Zone’, changes have been made to bring the games back in a safer environment for all. Want to know what they are? Scroll down for more…
We all know this, but just to reiterate, all games will be played behind closed doors (which means empty stands!). All matches will be broadcast live in the UK by the Premier League’s existing partners: Sky Sports, BT Sport, BBC Sport and Amazon Prime.
All teams are now allowed to name nine substitutes instead of the usual seven. They’re also allowed to use five instead of the usual three.
Teams are allowed to travel to matches together as long as safe social distancing is carried out.
Dressing rooms will be expanded and entrance and exits through the tunnels will be staggered.
The Red Zone is a new term for the area of the pitch, technical area, tunnel and dressing rooms. There can only be a maximum of 110 people in the Red Zone at any given time. Only players with a clinical passport (a scannable passport that confirms their negative test result) will be allowed into the Red Zone.
As mentioned, all players will wear these badges for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign. This will be in place of their names.
A one minute silence will be held for those affected by Covid-19 at the start of every match.
All players have been told not to spit, clear their nose, handshake or gather around match officials. They also must hand sanitise before and after every match.
New drink breaks will take place in the middle of each half. Players have to drink from their own bottles only.
To minimise numbers and to help with sanitation, spare balls will be placed around the pitch for quick and easy access, and to help maintain a smooth-running game (in case a ball goes into the empty stand, for example).
All medical staff providing treatment will be kitted out in full PPE.
All interviews after the matches will take place pitchside at a social distance. These will still be broadcast. Any press conferences will now be virtual.