By Alan Baldwin

LONDON, January 14th (Reuters). Players who violate COVID-19 health and safety protocols by shaking hands or hugging after scoring goals should be shown a yellow card, the chairman of a parliamentary committee suggested Thursday.

Julian Knight, chair of the bipartisan digital, culture, media and sport (DCMS) committee told Reuters that boisterous target celebrations at a time of national emergency sent the wrong message.

“Just as referees are giving yellow cards to players who take off their shirts, they could do the same,” he said.

“Surely it is unsporting to risk someone getting COVID, isn’t it?”

According to FIFA rules, a player who takes off his jersey after scoring a goal should be cautioned for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Premier League’s guidelines for conduct on the field state that “unnecessary contact, especially between opposing teams, must be avoided. This includes handshakes, high fives and hugs”.

Media reports have highlighted the festivities of recent games, with Manchester City in the spotlight after eight players held a group hug as Phil Foden scored in Wednesday’s 1-0 Premier League win over Brighton & Hove Albion.

A video was also made of teams celebrating in locker rooms after the third round of the FA Cup.

The Daily Telegraph quoted DCMS committee member Clive Efford as saying such celebrations were “an insult to the NHS (National Health Service) staff”.

England’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer (DCMO) has also urged football players to behave responsibly and stop partying in close proximity.

City manager Pep Guardiola said it was “weird and uncomfortable” when a player scored a goal and no one was partying with him.

“We’ve been tested maybe five or six times in the last 10 days. Everyone’s negative. We’re outdoors where the virus is less aggressive. We’ll follow what the Premier League says, but I don’t know if we’ll do that in the.” Location. ” it, “he added.

Knight pointed to sports like cricket and the NFL where they kept their distance.

“I understand what is being said, but maybe you have to exercise an additional level of self-control. Everyone else is just that in society.” (Reporting by Alan Baldwin, Editing by Toby Davis)