Football: FIFA considers yellow cards for spitting after coronavirus resumption

FIFA's medical committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe says football should hand out yellow cars for spitting, when play finally resumes, after the coronavirus shutdown.

And that resumption should not occur until at least the start of September to limit the spread of  COVID-19.

"If there is one moment where absolute priority should be given to medical matters, then it is this one," D'Hooghe has told Sky Sports News. "This is not a matter of money, but of life and death.


"This is the most dramatic situation we have lived in since the Second World War," he adds, regarding the pandemic that has forced the game's suspension in almost all countries. "We should not underestimate it, we must be realistic." 

The veteran Belgian football administrator's comments come as the German Bundesliga moves towards a possible re-start next month, while the English Premier League hopes games could be played behind closed doors in June.

D'Hooghe says it's too early for players to come into contact with one another, at least while social-distancing regulations are in place.

"The world is not ready for competitive football, I hope this can change very quickly and I sincerely hope that.," added D'Hooghe, a doctor who was formerly a member of FIFA's powerful executive committee.

"Today you need more patience. Football can only be possible if contact is possible again.

"Football remains a contact sport and contact is one of the first things everyone says that you should avoid.

"It's still about social distancing. Testing is an important point, but you have to repeat them [tests].

"If one of the players becomes positive, you have to put the whole group into quarantine. Is that a solution for a normal competition?

"We do not know when it will reach its peak in different countries, it will be different in every country. The solution will only be there the day there is an adequate vaccination programme."

Whenever football returns, D'Hooghe also says changes need to be made to rules and regulations to allow referees to caution players who spit during matches.

"It's a common practice in football, but it's not very hygienic," he told the Daily Telegraph.