The MLS will allow footballers to return to the outdoor teams’ practice fields for individual practice starting Wednesday.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the soccer league suspended games in the United States and Canada from March 12, in addition to ordering the closure of all club facilities. However, he asked that the footballers remain in the locations where their teams play. For now, the league’s ban on team practice remains in effect until May 15.
MLS reported that individual trainings must follow certain health and safety protocols, as well as policies of local governments and public health authorities. In fact, these trainings are voluntary.
Peter Vermes, coach of Sporting Kansas City, defended the new policy, due to concerns about the health of the players. He argued that footballers who exercise in public spaces run the risk of some people recognizing them and wanting to have contact with them.
“What we have suggested all this time is that by providing access to private courts, something that is available to us because we all have our own facilities, one could just do individual training,” Vermes explained. “It’s just about providing space … that continues to maintain social distance, with the ability to train safely.”
MLS teams must present a specific training plan and protocols, before players are allowed to begin the activity.
One of the necessary measures aims for clubs to allow access to the facilities only to the personnel considered essential; clean and disinfect all the equipment after each session, adopt revision measures, including taking the temperature of the attendees, and organize the entrances and exits of players and employees in stages, in addition to design parking spaces that guarantee social distancing.
Players do not yet have access to indoor facilities, including dressing rooms. The next phase would be small group practice, but there is no tentative date to allow that.
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