Jurgen Klopp claims that programming Premier League stars to alter goal celebration patterns overnight would be challenging as football tightens the guidelines for social distancing.

This week, Premier League chief executive Richard Masters wrote to clubs to warn players that unwanted touch, including embraces, handshakes, and high fives, should be cut out.

These can take place at any time, but when a goal is scored, when there is usually a rush to congratulate any player who hits the net, they are especially likely.

Out goes the rule this weekend, however, as clubs have been reminded that such actions must be stopped in follow-up calls to captains and managers.

Football authorities are eager to adhere as closely as possible to the protocols of the coronavirus era, to prevent further increases in cases among players, and to ensure that leagues can proceed during the lockdown.

“An outstanding job to be disciplined.”

He said, “We stick to the rules, and if now somebody says if you do this again we have to stop the game I wouldn’t understand to be honest, but I’m not the decision-maker.”

Liverpool faces Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday in the biggest Premier League season game so far.

Klopp said: “I understand rules have to be strict … but we have to learn from the things that have worked in the past few months and football worked.”

Many players would tend to welcome team-mates as goals go in around the country this weekend, and there appear to be instances where the latest advice is overlooked.

“If there’s something to celebrate it will be in an appropriate way, but it’s difficult,” Klopp said.

“Football is an emotional game and what we should not forget in the discussion about this is these players are tested two or three times a week. During the week we reduce the contract to a minimum.”

“If we were to think and feel like we were going to threaten one or two of our team-mates [with a goal celebration], we would never do it, it just wouldn’t happen.”


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