European clubs ban handshakes, selfies, autographs because of Coronavirus

It can be recalled that Premier League club Newcastle United banned handshakes at training sessions last week and the rule has also been put place by other Premier League clubs including Wolves, West Ham and Southampton.

“Wolves players and staff have been asked to avoid any unnecessary meetings, lunches or other public engagements, and temporarily avoid casual fan interaction such as selfies or autographs,” Wolves said in a statement

Bundesliga outfit Borussia Dortmund have also told players and staff not to sign autographs and pose for selfies, and will no longer allow members of the public at training sessions.

“This measure is being taken to protect all those in attendance at training sessions,” Dortmund said on their website.

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Meanwhile, the football governing body of Scotland has instructed clubs to suspend pre-match and post-match handshakes with immediate effect starting with Wednesday’s Edinburgh derby between Hibernian and Hearts.

“The safety of everyone involved in attending or participating in a major football event is our foremost consideration,” Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell said in a statement.

“Given the developing situation locally and internationally, it is incumbent on the football authorities to speak with one voice in providing guidance and reassurance to stakeholders.”

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Even in the United States, the NBA has instructed players to desist from taking items to autograph although they can fist-bump with fans instead of high-fiving them.

There are more than 90,000 coronavirus cases globally and more than 80,000 of the number in China alone. The infection has appeared in 77 other countries with China’s death toll rising to nearly 3,000.

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