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    Prem clubs ‘want Covid vaccine clauses added to player contracts but face battle from PFA’

    PREMIER LEAGUE and EFL clubs are reportedly considering making Covid vaccination a clause in players contracts.It comes amid concerns that the decision to take the jab has been low among footballers, prompting fears that outbreaks at live sport could occur as a result.
    Premier League clubs are calling for vaccine clauses to be added to players contractsCredit: PA
    And The Mail are now reporting that English clubs are looking to ‘insert vaccination clauses’ into contracts, but they could face opposition from the PFA.
    The Government want all players and backroom staff involved in football games to have received two doses of the vaccine by October.
    This is to present future breakouts in stadiums and also to ensure the players have the same level of protection as the fans.
    Some clubs are said to be considering putting vaccination clauses in ALL future contracts.
    The PFA’s position is a complicated one as they are principally behind the notion of vaccination.
    However, they also have the obligation to stand up for the personal freedom and choice of the players.
    And The Mail believes there is a ‘considerable reluctance’ to take the vaccine among many young players.
    Next season, Premier League clubs will continue to test players twice a week but EFL clubs will ostensibly only test when an individual is showing symptoms.
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    Fears over players’ lack of Covid vaccinations comes just two weeks before the Community Shield between Leicester City and Manchester City.
    The curtain-raiser for the 2021-22 campaign is set to take place in front of a capacity crowd at Wembley Stadium on August 7.
    The emphasis on vaccinations in football has been brought to light just days after Boris Johnson announced Covid passports will be introduced from the end of September for entry into places such as clubs.
    The Prime Minister said: “We’re concerned, as they are in other countries, by the continuing risk posed by nightclubs.
    “I should serve notice now that by the end of September, when all over 18s will have had their chance to be double jabbed, we’re planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
    “Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.”
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    Arsenal pulled out of pre-season US tour over fears members of 90-strong travelling party would have to quarantine

    ARSENAL pulled out of their pre-season trip to America because they feared being forced to quarantine in Orlando.The Gunners withdrew from this week’s Florida Cup tournament after three members of Mikel Arteta’s squad tested positive for coronavirus.
    Arsenal did not want to run the risk of other players contracting coronavirus on the nine-hour flight to FloridaCredit: Getty
    And the decision was taken to remain in the UK due to concerns that more members of the 90-strong travelling party would develop symptoms on the nine-hour flight from London.
    Under strict US immigration regulations, everyone travelling on the private Emirates flight would have to provide a negative Covid test on arrival in Miami.
    And anyone who returned a positive reading would be forced to quarantine in the States for an unspecified period before being allowed to board a flight back to Britain.
    A club source admitted: “Covid has an incubation period of between five and ten days, so it’s possible that anyone who has been in close contact with the individuals who had tested positive could also develop symptoms.
    “It was simply too much of a risk to get on a plane for such a long flight knowing that others might have been in contact with the players who are now isolating at home.”

    Arsenal were due to play two games in the tournament which also involves Inter Milan, Everton and Millionarios.
    Now they are desperately trying to organise two replacement friendly matches in England, probably behind closed doors, although most teams have already organised their pre-season schedules.
    Arteta’s squad underwent PCR tests on Monday and lateral flow tests yesterday which confirmed the handful of positive results.
    More tests will be carried out tomorrow after the first team area of their London Colney training ground underwent a deep clean on Tuesday evening.
    A further cleaning procedure had been carried out last week following a Covid outbreak among the Under-23 and Under-18 squads.
    Arsenal are now operating under a controlled environment similar to that which was imposed by the Premier League when the game was first shut down by the pandemic last year.

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    That means reduced access to certain buildings with players arriving for training already changed and returning home immediately afterwards.
    A number of players have already completed a period of mandatory isolation after returning to Britain from foreign holidays.
    But Arteta is confident that the players who tested positive this week are all asymptomatic and are not in danger of missing the opening game of the new season away to Brentford on April 13.
    Arsenal pre-season in chaos as Gunners forced to CANCEL USA tour just days before flying after Covid-19 outbreak More

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    Arsenal will train in ‘controlled environment’ today after London Colney base is deep cleaned following Covid outbreak

    ARSENAL will train in a ‘controlled environment’ at London Colney on Wednesday after the training complex was ‘deep cleaned’ on Tuesday night.The measures come after the Gunners were forced to cancel their pre-season tour of the USA as a result of a Covid-19 outbreak among a small number of players and staff.
    Arsenal will train in a ‘controlled environment’ on WednesdayCredit: Getty
    London Colney was ‘deep cleaned’ on Tuesday nightCredit: Getty
    The measures come after the North Londoners were forced to cancel their pre-season tour of the USA as a result of a Covid outbreak in their squadCredit: Getty
    The squad were due to fly out to Florida this week but had to pull the plug at the last minute, throwing their pre-season plans into chaos.
    A round of testing on Monday showed up the positive results, with the squad again tested on Tuesday before they were due to fly out on Wednesday.
    However the trip has been cancelled, as has the game against Inter Milan that was scheduled for Sunday night in the Florida Cup.
    The winners of that match, at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, would have faced Everton or Colombian side Millonarios in the final on July 28.
    Arsenal are now expected to play two ‘behind-closed-doors’ friendlies to replace the lost fixtures, according to PA.
    But their Mind Series matches against Chelsea and Tottenham to come on August 1 and 8, respectively, are unlikely to be affected.
    Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season against Brentford on August 13.
    Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Hibernian in their opening summer friendly and then salvaged a 2-2 draw at Rangers.
    Albert Sambi Lokonga joined in training for the first time on Monday with his new team-mates.
    The 21-year-old midfielder has completed a £17million move from Anderlecht and will wear the No23 at the Emirates.

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    News of the Gunners outbreak came just hours after Chelsea were pictured flying to Ireland for their own preparations for the new campaign.
    Thomas Tuchel, though, is without a number of first-team stars still on holiday after their Euro 2020 exploits.
    But forgotten men Danny Drinkwater and Ruben Loftus-Cheek were part of the group with both trying to break into Tuchel’s plans next season.
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    Arsenal pre-season in chaos as Gunners forced to CANCEL USA tour just days before flying after Covid-19 outbreak at club

    ARSENAL’S pre-season plans have been thrown into chaos after a coronavirus outbreak in the camp scrapped their tour to America.The squad were due to fly out to Florida this week but a small number of players and staff have been affected.
    Arsenal have scrapped their pre-season tour to Florida due to a small number of players and staff testing positive for Covid-19Credit: Getty
    Mikel Arteta’s preparations have been thrown into chaos ahead of the new campaignCredit: Getty
    A round of testing on Monday showed up the positive results, with the squad again tested on Tuesday before they were due to fly out on Wednesday.
    However the trip has been cancelled, as has the game against Inter Milan that was scheduled for Sunday night in the Florida Cup.
    The winners of that game, at the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, would have faced Everton or Colombian side Millonarios in the final on July 28.
    The Toffees are still planning to compete in the tournament.
    Arsenal kick off the new Premier League season against Brentford on August 13.
    Mikel Arteta’s side suffered a shock 2-1 defeat to Hibernian in their opening summer friendly last week and then salvaged a 2-2 draw at Rangers on Saturday.
    They are now searching for opponents to face over the next 10 days ahead of two other pre-season fixtures on their calendar.
    They have games in North London against Chelsea and Tottenham to come on August 1 and 8 respectively.
    Albert Sambi Lokonga joined in training for the first time on Monday with his new team-mates.
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    The 21-year-old midfielder has completed a £17million move from Anderlecht and will wear the No23 at the Emirates.
    News of the Gunners outbreak comes just hours after Chelsea were pictured flying to Ireland for their own preparations for the new campaign.
    Thomas Tuchel, though, is without a number of first-team stars still on holiday after their Euro 2020 exploits.
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    The Gunners were due to face Inter Milan on Sunday night in OrlandoCredit: Getty
    They still have friendlies against Chelsea and Tottenham to come before facing BrentfordCredit: Getty

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    Premier League fans ‘WILL need Covid vaccination passport to attend matches with capacity over 16k if infections rise’

    FOOTBALL fans may have to show proof they have had two doses of Covid jabs to attend games from September.Despite the Euro 2020 final and semi-finals attended by 60,000 supporters at Wembley, stadiums could be limited to a capacity of 16,000.
    Football supporters may have to provide proof they are fully vaccinated to attend matches next seasonCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    That is if transmission rates remain dangerously high with around one in six areas in England reporting record levels of coronavirus infections.
    Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Monday that only those that have been fully vaccinated at events where ‘large crowds gather’ will be able to attend.
    He remarked: “As we said last week, we do reserve the right to mandate certification at any point if it is necessary to reduce transmission.
    “And I should serve notice now that by the end of September – when all over-18s will have had the chance to be double jabbed – we are planning to make full vaccination the condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather.
    “Proof of a negative test will no longer be enough.”
    According to the Daily Mail, if infection rates continue to be high, this would also impact football fans.
    Supporters would have to show Covid passports to prove they are fully vaccinated, with a negative test result to not be enough to gain entry.
    They state that both the Premier League and EFL are seeking clarification on Johnson’s comments and what this means for football.

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    As reported by iNews, the Premier League are in the early stages of working with the Government on a Covid certificate system.
    The document would be connected to the NHS app already downloaded by millions for track and trace and to lodge test results.
    The Government is said to prefer keeping passports inside the NHS framework with the Prem also considering its own certification app.
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    Premier League clubs still unclear over coronavirus protocols for new season and uncertain over capacity crowd safety

    PREMIER LEAGUE clubs are still waiting for guidance on coronavirus protocols with the new season less than a month away.Many of the rules regarding travel, testing and biosecure bubbles will still apply despite the Government ending lockdown restrictions this week.
    Premier League clubs are still uncertain over coronavirus protocols for next seasonCredit: AFP
    And it is almost certain that supporters will need to have a Covid passport or proof of a negative test before being allowed to attend a game.
    But that could prove a logistical nightmare for clubs to organise checkpoints for crowds of up to 75,000, particularly for evening games.
    The plan is for all matches to be played at full capacity grounds for the first time since the pandemic struck back in March, 2020.
    But rising cases of the virus means that football must now find a way of keeping all of their customers safe without maintaining social distancing.
    Premier League chief executive Richard Masters has outlined two objectives for the new season – to complete the campaign with no disruption and to play in full stadia.
    The arrangement with Sky, BT Sport and Amazon Prime to screen all Premier League matches live will not apply in the new season.
    That means fans will only be able to see most games by travelling to the ground.
    But many clubs are wondering how they are going to maintain safety levels, with one senior executive claiming: “It was difficult enough to keep our players secure when the ground was empty last season.
    “It’s great news that we can finally have our supporters back, but it does present us with a lot of new problems and no-one has yet explained how we are going to deal with these issues.”
    Many of last season’s protocols are expected to remain in place.
    That means players will be tested twice a week at training grounds, red and amber zones will restrict the number of people in certain areas of the grounds and press conferences will continue to be carried out via zoom calls.
    No decision has yet been made on substitute numbers. Before the pandemic, clubs were allowed to name five subs and use three.
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    That number rose to nine and was then reduced to seven last season.
    The Premier League have been in constant contact with the Government over the return of crowds and clubs are in talks with their local authorities.
    But the lack of clarity is causing concern and many within the game fear the confusion will continue right up to the opening day of the new season.
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    Man City ‘training ground to undergo deep clean as academy players test positive for coronavirus and forced to isolate’

    MANCHESTER CITY have had to shut down a section of their training base for a deep clean after several academy players tested positive for Covid-19. The Citizens’ Under-18 and U23 teams were set to travel to Loughborough for a training camp this week.
    Man City have had to shut off a section of their training ground after an outbreak of Covid-19 in their academy ranksCredit: GETTY IMAGES
    But five positive Covid cases in the academy ranks has thrown their plans up in the air.
    According to The Athletic, the academy building has been shut off for the next ten days to allow it to be deep cleaned.
    Youngsters who have tested positive will have to self isolate away from fellow academy players, staff and first team stars, but will be monitored on site.
    The Covid outbreak in City’s academy ranks has thrown a curveball at first team coach Pep Guardiola.
    Guardiola had hoped to use some of City’s young guns in the senior side’s pre-season friendly against Preston North End on Tuesday, July 27.
    And with some players in isolation for the next ten days, they will most likely miss the fixture.
    City’s squad is filled with international stars who competed in either the Euros or the Copa America, leaving only four first team players set to return to training on Monday.
    Captain Fernandinho – who signed a one-year extension – will be present, as well as Zack Steffen, Benjamin Mendy and Joao Cancelo.
    Cases of Covid-19 continue to rise in England ahead of Monday’s ‘Freedom Day’, which will see pandemic restrictions lifted.
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    Meanwhile, Boris Johnson’s plan to lift virtually all of England’s pandemic restrictions has been slammed as a risk to the world by 1200 scientists.
    Michael Baker – a professor of public health at the University of Otago and a member of the New Zealand ministry of health’s Covid-19 technical advisory group – is disappointed with the UK’s lack of leadership in the public health crisis.
    He said: “In New Zealand we have always looked to the UK for leadership when it comes to scientific expertise, which is why it’s so remarkable that it is not following even basic public health principles.”
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    Arsenal training base to undergo deep clean as youth teams forced to isolate after positive coronavirus tests

    ARSENAL have been forced to undertake a deep clean of their training ground after a swell of positive coronavirus tests inside the academy.A small number of Under-23s and Under-18s players have caught Covid-19, forcing a handful of youth team friendlies to be cancelled.
    Mikel Arteta’s first-team are in Scotland and unaffected by the outbreakCredit: Getty
    The Gunners have insisted that the infections were transmitted away from their London Colney base.
    And those who have tested positive are not said to be suffering from any severe symptoms.
    A club statement to The Athletic read: “There have been a small number of positive tests at London Colney which has required some U23 and U18 players to quarantine.
    “All these positives were transmitted off site and the players are well.”
    Mikel Arteta’s first-team squad are said to be unaffected by the outbreak having travelled to Scotland for a pre-season camp earlier this week.
    But academy friendlies with Bournemouth’s U21s and Welling have been called off, with games against Boreham Wood and Bromley also in doubt.
    The statement continued: “To protect our players and opponents, two friendly matches for the U23s and U18s have been cancelled.
    “Our London Colney training ground has undergone extensive work to help ensure there is no cross-contamination between our various football bubbles.

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    “The men’s first-team squad are unaffected as they are currently in Scotland. The women’s first-team squad also continue to train as normal.”
    Arsenal will travel back to the capital after facing Rangers on Saturday afternoon.
    The team were expected to spend a few days continuing their training at Colney before heading for the Florida Cup in the United States.
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