French TV station Canal Plus reveal they have STOPPED sending commentators to Premier League matches
French TV station Canal Plus have revealed that they have stopped sending commentators to Premier League matches with supporters at grounds not wearing face masks despite the rise in Covid-19 cases.
Speaking on the Late Foot Club last night, the three presenters discussed the fact that the company has been taking the drastic precautions for two weeks now, and lambasted the casual attitude to protection against the virus.
‘We’ve been in the Canal studios for the last two weeks and indeed, given the numbers mentioned, it’s for the best,’ one presenter said.
‘Because when you don’t wear a mask you risk becoming positive and English people, until a few days ago, did not wear masks. I have never seen an English person wear a mask in a stadium since I’ve been going there in August.’
As of today, supporters travelling to top-flight matches in England will be required to complete a Covid status declaration, with a valid NHS Covid pass or proof of a negative test now mandatory after the government introduced ‘Plan B’ measures.
Part of this crackdown will see fans wearing face coverings inside concourses and around busy parts of the stadium, in an attempt to slow the spread of coronavirus after the emergence of a fast-spreading new variant, Omicron.
French TV station Canal Plus have revealed they no longer send commentators to Premier League games because of the casual attitude to face masks and coronavirus from fans
Speaking last night, the three presenters delved into the current state of Covid in England
Yesterday, there were more than 4,700 confirmed Omicron cases, and Ministers have claimed that the number of doubling every two days. At this current rate, almost 100,000 people will be confirmed with the variant on Christmas Eve.
As a result, almost 1million people will then be isolating on Christmas Day.
The worsening health emergency has re-ignited fears that the Premier League will once again be forced behind closed doors. Indeed, Sportsmail has learned that clubs are fearful of mass postponements and another potential shutdown.
So far, the progress over vaccinating players has been slow. On Monday, it was announced that there were 42 positive tests for Covid in the top-flight, the most ever recorded in a single week. At least five different clubs confirmed cases.
The wave of new Omicron cases have sparked fears that Premier League football may be hit
Everton forward Richarlison has been jabbed, but the vaccination programme remains slow
Clubs’ worries have been made worse by the stuttering pace of their vaccination programmes. These have left the majority of players facing a lengthy wait to receive the booster jab needed to provide as much protection against Omicron as possible.
The Premier League insist that they should be able to continue as normal, with rigorous testing rules and emergency protocols in place.
However, sources at several clubs have told Sportsmail that they are privately questioning if they would be able to carry on in the event of widespread postponements without damaging the integrity of the competition.
Six Premier League games were postponed last Christmas, albeit without a shutdown, and officials are understood to be determined to do everything in their power to prevent the season from grinding to another untimely halt.
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam has urged footballers to get their vaccinations
The Premier League have introduced a raft of new rules to try and prevent disruption to games
This has seen them, after the government’s latest batch of restrictions passed yesterday, introduce Covid passes and tell supporters with symptoms to stay away.
Supporters aged 18 and over will complete a Covid status self-declaration via their club’s website before matchday. They will be required to confirm whether they have a valid Covid pass or negative test result within the previous 48 hours.
Upon arrival at the stadium, they will show their pass or negative test, with checks to be held at every ground. Fans risk being denied entry if they fail to show either.
Facemasks will not be mandatory ‘within the stadium bowl’, it has been revealed, though – although supporters are encourage to wear them inside ‘congested’ areas.
Supporters will now be required to show a valid Covid pass or a negative Covid test result
‘We are doing all we can to keep fans safe and grounds open at full capacity,’ Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said.
‘The safety of everyone remains our priority and since the start of the season we have been working closely with our clubs, Government and local public health authorities to prepare fans and stadium operations for the introduction of COVID certification.
‘It is really important fans take the time to understand what is required of them when attending Premier League stadiums, which is why we are asking fans to declare their COVID status ahead of a matchday.
‘We want everyone to enjoy matches in safe environments and we and our clubs will continue to urge fans to do all they can and follow public health guidance.’
Meanwhile, Health Secretary Sajid Javid has worryingly told MPs that even if Omicron is less severe than the Delta variant, the fact it spreads to easy means it ‘still has the potential to overwhelm the NHS.’
He also said that modellers believe Omicron cases may already be as high as ‘200,000 a day’ and ‘doubling every two to three days’. Some experts have cast doubt on this figure, however, which is far higher than the official Covid total.
Downing Street insisted the projection was ‘valid’.
Yesterday, England’s chief medical offer Professor Chris Whitty warned the Cabinet during an update that Omicron was spreading ‘unbelievably fast’.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has told the Cabinet that a ‘huge spike in Omicron is coming’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson told the Cabinet that a ‘huge spike in Omicron is coming’. Public health officials warned that restrictions could last up to eight weeks.
Omicron has rapidly become dominant in London, the home of several Premier League clubs. In the capital, the Covid infection rate has spiralled by 55 per cent in two weeks to 537 cases per 100,000 people – the highest level since January.
Hospitalisations have risen by 50 per cent over the same period, from 90 to 140 admissions a day.