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09th Mar 2020

FAI issues statement banning handshakes at all games to prevent spread of coronavirus

James Fenton

The FAI has today issued a statement which advises that players are not to shake hands with opponents or match officials due to the potential transmission of COVID-19.

The statement released by the FAI this afternoon says that it has ‘issued the directive to all affiliates’ and it follows on from ‘UEFA directive for their competitions.’ It is added that the ban will come into effect immediately and ‘will remain until further notice across all games in the Republic of Ireland.’

The FAI’s statement was released just before news broke of the cancellation of both the Dublin and Cork St. Patrick’s Day parades due to the outbreak of coronavirus.

While the handshake ban should come into effect for League Of Ireland games this weekend, it remains to be seen what will happen with Ireland’s scheduled Euro 2020 playoff away to Slovakia on March 26. RTE is reporting today that the Slovakian FA is ‘monitoring the situation and will make a decision when necessary.’ One possibility is that the game will be played behind closed doors.

You can read the full statement released by the FAI today here.