A number of our members have contacted us to seek guidance in regard to the pre/post-match handshakes in order to control the spread of Coronavirus.
Staffordshire Football Association has communicated the following information and guidance to our Sanctioned Leagues.
The FA is following Government advice (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public) which at the time of writing, does not offer any advice to say that we should not be shaking hands, but highlights and emphasises the need for good hand hygiene at all times.
However, if teams feel happier not to shake hands or to try an alternative method like fist bumping or ‘three cheers’ post-match then that is absolutely their choice and Leagues are encouraged to be understanding of teams making this choice. Should teams decide not to shake hands or opt for an alternative method, then this must be conveyed to the match referee before the teams enter the field of play.
Alternatively a League may choose to issue a policy to remove the procedural pre/post match handshake, but this would be solely at the discretion of the League.
We are actively monitoring and adopting Government advice, and as a matter of good practice would recommend that Leagues and Clubs adopt the same approach.
To keep up to date with the current situation in the UK, along with guidance of what to do if you are at risk go to NHS UK / coronavirus for more information about the virus and how to protect yourself.
Use NHS 111 online to check if you need medical help.
This is a constantly changing situation and the following sites will provide you with the latest news and information as well as providing some useful resources.