Premier League captains ordered to stop players violating Covid-19 protocols

Premier League captains have been ordered to remind their team-mates to stop breaking Covid-19 protocols.

The move comes amid increasing incidents of top flight stars ignoring the rules – and is hoped will help save the season from being suspended.

Premier League bosses held a round of video-conference calls with managers and captains today to discuss how important it is that the guidelines are followed to the letter.

League chiefs introduced stricter measures at the start of this week, including banning goal celebrations and making all substitutes wear masks while sitting in the stands.

But teams have continued to flout the laws, with Sheffield United, Manchester United, City and Fulham players all getting involved in goal celebrations during games this week.

To make matters worse, some City replacements also failed to wear face masks during Wednesday's 1-0 win over Brighton at the Etihad.

There has been a rise in the number of people testing positive in the top flight, while a host of games have had to be postponed, leading to a serious fixture pileup.

Football bosses are desperate to get the season finished because there is no window to extend it at the start of this summer, due to the Euros taking place.

Now the onus has been placed on skippers including Harry Maguire, Jordan Henderson and Kevin De Bruyne to lay down the law to their fellow team-mates and remind them how crucial it is that the protocols are followed.

A Premier League source said earlier this week: “The protocols are in place for a good reason, which we all know about.

“Ultimately the players are aware of them and it's their responsibility to stick to them. Anyone who doesn't runs the risk of sanctions. The onus is on everyone.”

All 20 top flight clubs have been appointed a compliance officer, who has now been given a more robust remit when it comes to keeping tabs on how clubs operate and has access to training grounds, stadiums and even changing rooms.

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