LFP President Nathalie Boy de la Tour
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Coronavirus: LFP maintains handshake-free protocol

Publish on 04/03/2020 at 10:30

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Ligue 1 Conforama and Domino's Ligue 2 players will continue not to shake hands before league matches, according to the new protocol developed to combat the risk of coronavirus infection.

LFP President Nathalie Boy de la Tour told the AFP on Tuesday that the new protocol will remain in place.

"We are going to continue this new protocol, because we have a duty to set an example. There will be no handshakes, in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry of Health," said Boy de la Tour in the wake of sports minister Roxana Maracineanu's Tuesday announcement that the staging of Ligue 1 Conforama matches would not be affected by the epidemic.

Vigilance

On Saturday, the LFP made changes to the rituals that precede league matches, inviting players, referees and other players to stop shaking hands before kick-off. This instruction followed advice from the Ministry of Health, looking to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, which has caused three deaths in France, according to the official count on Monday evening.

"The most important thing is that, at this stage, no game has been postponed," continued the LFP President. "We are in close communication with local authorities and all our decision are made on a case-by-case basis, between the authorities, the clubs and the league."

'Responsibility and measured decisions'

So far only one match has been affected: Chambly-Le Mans (Domino's Ligue 2 Round 28), which will be played behind closed doors on Friday evening at Beauvais in the Oise, the department most affected by COVID-19.

"The health of the players and spectators remains our priority," said Boy de la Tour, also noting that a meeting of the LFP's board of directors on this subject is scheduled for Wednesday morning. "For us, it's about responsibility and measured decisions."