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England Players Banned From Shaking Hands For Health And Safety Reasons

England Players Banned From Shaking Hands For Health And Safety Reasons
By Gavin Cooney Updated

If football is indeed coming home, it will be the most meticulously planned journey of all time. The Independent have today revealed some of the tiny details over which Gareth Southgate has exerted control. For example, according to the Indy, players are forbidden from shaking hands with each other when greeting. Instead, they have been told to bump fists to reduce the chance of virus spreading throughout the camp.

The depth and detail of Southgate's preparation has been hailed thus far, and had a direct result in the last-16 victory over Colombia. Penalty shootouts have haunted the English football psyche to the extent where it became a forbidden phrase among squads, with Glenn Hoddle and Roy Hodgson both neglecting to practice under the spurious grounds that it is impossible to replicate pressure on the training ground.

Southgate, however, has worked exhaustively with his players on penalty technique and all of his squad underwent psychometric tests to decide who was best suited to taking penalties. Jordan Pickford, meanwhile, was handed a water bottle bearing details of which direction each of his opponents was most likely to shoot, and his handing the ball to the next England player to kick was a way of denying David Ospina a chance to delay the kick and indicative of a squad eager to control as much of the environment as they could.

[Independent]

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