As a second surge of coronavirus cases is expected in many countries, the International Football Association Board and Football Association have ruled that referees will red card players if they cough toward a player.
Whether intentional or not, this rule does not allow for any lines to be crossed by players. It is now known if certain leagues, like the Premier League, will adopt the rule, but it is expected that many wills. Ruled as unsportsmanlike conduct, coughing and spitting in close proximity to another player will result in a red card.
The state of any sport is incredibly fragile during the COVID-19 global pandemic. The past few weeks have seen nearly every league in the world make its return to play. But within those leagues, some have not been immune to coronavirus.
Major League Baseball has become a model of how leagues should not handle positive cases among teams. The Miami Marlins were the first team with an outbreak, seemingly postponing a week of games for themselves and the Philadelphia Phillies — who they played as the outbreak occurred. Now, the St. Louis Cardinals are the latest team to have their season sidelined due to an outbreak within their clubhouse.
While leagues do have COVID-19 regulations in place, they haven’t seemed to be enforced. The IFAB and FA seem to have the strictest regulation of any association.