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SFA and SPFL suspend handshaking over coronavirus concerns

The governing bodies have made a change to the pre-match procedures.

SFA and SPFL suspend handshaking over coronavirus concerns SNS

The Scottish FA and SPFL’s Coronavirus Response Group has told players and match officials not to shake hands before and after matches.

The change to the normal behaviour on match days takes effect immediately, beginning with Tuesday’s Edinburgh derby between Hearts and Hibs.

The governing bodies formed a task force on Monday to consider the implication COVID-19 will have on domestic fixtures and cup competitions, as well as national team matches.

The group was formed less than 24 hours after the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Scotland – a patient from the Tayside area, who had recently travelled to Italy.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said the aim was “to take the necessary measures to safeguard the wellbeing of everyone involved in the national game amid the outbreak.”.

His SPFL counterpart Neil Doncaster said on Monday there was no imminent threat to scheduled fixtures and said that planning was being done to deal with any challenges posed by the outbreak.