Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has questioned how newly published PFA protocols regarding social distancing will work when celebrating goals.
The recommendations include no handshakes, no shirt swapping and keeping a safe distance between teammates, but Guardiola cannot see how players will be able to control themselves in the heat of the moment:
“I read them, the new protocols. We are going to follow them. But when one guy scores a goal, I don’t know if they can be controlled and not celebrate it. All of us [involved on match days] are tested negative, every two days. I don’t know what is going to happen – but one guy scores a goal, the joy to celebrate it, I don’t know if he is going to think, ‘I cannot hug my mate for two, three seconds’.”
While the guidance is needed, it seems highly unlikely that players will adhere to the protocols in games which are highly competitive or tightly contested. The natural inclination when you score a goal is to celebrate with members of your own team so the rules are likely to be broken.
There were some notable differences in celebrations during this weekend’s FA Cup games, but things may be different if it is a cup final or a crucial title decider. It will be interesting to see how players deal with the issue over the coming weeks and months.