The Premier League, Football Associaton and English Football League have published a joint statement aimed at encouraging clubs to abide by the new Covid measures.

This update comes after games up and down the football league continue to be called off. The latest to fall by the wayside is this Sunday’s fixture between Aston Villa and Everton.

A number of teams across the football league have been forced to call off games as a result of Covid outbreaks in their squad.

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They released the statement on Thursday, which has been cited in full by Sky Sports:

“The Football Association, Premier League, EFL and Barclays Women’s Super League have this week introduced enhanced COVID-19 measures and stressed their importance to everyone in the game.

“Safety is a collective effort. Football requires the ongoing support of clubs, managers, players. All those involved in staging matches to continue to manage the spread of infection and set the right example to the public on and off the pitch.

“We will offer guidance, education and support as well as reviewing our practices to ensure they remain of the highest standard. Our three organisations have confidence in our COVID-19 protocols and our ability to bring the season to a successful conclusion.

Referees have been told to remind players to ensure that they maintain social distancing when possible. This comes after players were criticised for over-celebrating goals with their teammates:

The release continued: “Throughout this crisis, the health, safety and well-being of all participants has been our number one priority. By following the national rules and football’s own strict medical and scientific advice, football has been able to maintain its privileged position and continue to engage and entertain millions of people around the country.

“The game has a responsibility and during this next critical period. It is down to everyone involved to ensure they follow Government rules and our protocols. We have seen the huge contribution players have made to the national effort. They must continue to use their influence in demonstrating the importance of following the rules.

“With full compliance to our COVID-19 protocols – alongside effective testing regimes – we are confident at the halfway point of the season that, with the support of all, the 2020/21 campaign will continue to its conclusion in May.”

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