Footballers in England could be shown yellow cards or even sent off for deliberately coughing at opponents as a piece of new Covid-19 guidelines brought from the Football Association.

Referees should behave when they are “sure someone deliberately, and from close selection, coughed into the surface of an opponent or match official,” stated that the new guidelines, that is rolled out immediately in all levels of the game in England and will be in force while wider coronavirus restrictions are in place. 

The FA stated that the new sanctions will fall under the category of “with offensive, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures,” adding that “when the incident was not intense enough to merit a sending-off, a caution could be issued for’unsporting behaviour — reveals a lack of respect for the sport’.”

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It is understood that regular coughing without malice will not be punished. Players have already been encouraged to prevent spitting and do so only on the ground.

Professional clubs around England and everywhere are already adapting to life at the Era of coronavirus, playing games behind closed doors and with steps ranging from disinfected balls to no pre-match handshakes between players.  

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