Soccer-Argentine FA tightens COVID-19 rules as cases rise

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Soccer-Argentine FA tightens COVID-19 rules as cases rise

The Argentine Football Association (AFA) tightened sanitary rules around the professional game on Tuesday but stopped short of suspending the league, as cases of COVID-19 increase across the South American nation.

Under the new rules players must go to training and matches in their own vehicles, stripped to play whenever they can, and they should avoid using dressing rooms as much as possible. Social distancing guidelines must be followed more closely and teams who do not adhere to the regulations face possible fines, the AFA said.

The decision came after Argentine news reports said more than 50 players at several different clubs had tested positive for the coronavirus. More than 56,000 people have died after contracting the virus in Argentina and cases are on the upward curve, with 13,667 new cases and 272 deaths reported in the last 24 hours.

“In football as in broader society,” said Nicolas Russo, the AFA’s secretary general. “We are in a very difficult moment.” Russo, however, said it was “impossible to stop the championship because there are no dates (in which to reschedule the games) and we’ve come from a very tough year economically.”

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