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Players to be sent off for coughing


Players could be sent off if they deliberately cough at an opponent under new guidance issued in relation to the coronavirus outbreak.

Image Copyright – Steve Haag Sport

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Referees will be informed that any such act, if aimed at the face of another player or official, can be deemed a red-card offence.

The new guidance has come from the International Football Association Board, the body which determines the laws of the game.

An IFAB spokesperson told the PA news agency: “Given the current situation relating to Covid-19, if a player deliberately coughed in the face of another player, team official or match official, this could be deemed to fall within the Law 12 sending-off offence of ‘using offence, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures’.”

The guidance adds that referees will need to make a judgement on whether the cough was deliberate and also take into account the distance between the people involved.

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