HNS Reveals How Football Matches Will Look in Corona Era

HNS Reveals How Football Matches Will Look in Corona Era

May 24, 2020 - HNS released instructions for holding Croatian First League football matches during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nogomet Plus reports that according to the plan yet to be approved by the National Civil Protection Headquarters, the football season continues next week, on May 30, when Slaven Belupo and Lokomotiva meet in Koprivnica as part of the Croatian Cup semifinals. The next day, Rijeka and Osijek will compete at Rujevica, and the continuation of the first league season is planned for June 5, when Hajduk and Inter Zapresic meet in the first game of the 27th round.

On that occasion, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) published instructions for holding matches during the coronavirus pandemic, but also changes in the propositions of the competition to better adapt to the current times marked by COVID-19.

The most significant change is that the matches will be played without the presence of spectators and with a minimum number of people needed in the stadium. Thus, the propositions stipulate that a maximum of 161 people can participate in one match, as follows:

Fenced part of the pitch:

Teams: up to 18 players
Officials on the bench: maximum 6 licensed persons
Referees: 4
Ball collectors: maximum 6
Persons with stretchers: maximum 4
TV crew: 2 or 4 cameramen + 2 technicians
Photojournalists: 4 (exceptionally + 1 HNS)
Technical - terrain maintenance: 4

In the stands:

Delegate and controller: 2
Club managements: host up to 15 people and guest up to 10 people
Official announcer, traffic light technique, TV crew CROATEL, commentators Arenasport or HNTV, HR2 and local radio according to the license: 15
PRESS Lodge: maximum 10 accredited journalists
HNS: maximum 10 people
Doping control: 2
Reserve players and staff members: maximum 5 per club in a separate part of the stand

Around the stadium:

VAR judges and technician: 3
Host club staff - technical staff: maximum 10
Security guards: usually up to 10
Ambulance (or replacement vehicle): 3
TV crew-reportage car: maximum 8

The matches are held in accordance with the epidemiological instructions prescribed by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia and the HNS working group dedicated to the preparations for the continuation of the competition.

It was also decided that clubs will no longer have the right to register 12 substitutes, but that number has been reduced to 7, and during the match, a maximum of 5 changes can be made in three intervals while another change is possible in case of overtime.

Press conferences were canceled after the game, and instead, club spokespersons will be obliged to take a statement from the coach and two players of their club, which will then be given to journalists through digital channels. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to make a statement to TV in order to fulfill their obligations under the TV rights agreement.

The players of both teams and the referees of the match will no longer go out on the field together in a row. The fourth referee will first check the people on the benches, then the visiting team, then the home team and finally the main and assistant referees. There will be no more greetings from players and referees and coaches before the initial whistle.

When choosing the sides, the distance between the head referee and the team captain must be at least 1.5 meters, and they must be about 7 meters away from the longitudinal line of the field. Handling is prohibited on this occasion.

After scoring, the players are instructed not to hug, shake hands or physically touch during the celebration, and throughout the game they should avoid unnecessary physical contacts that do not serve the purpose of the game.

After the match, there is no greeting on the field between the players, club officials, and the referees.

This is what a football match will look like in the era of the new normal.

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