Red cards can be shown for coughing under new coronavirus guidance backed by FA

tom dutton
·1-min read
AFP via Getty Images
AFP via Getty Images

Players could be red-carded if they deliberately cough at an opponent under new measures rolled out in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Referees will be informed that any such act, if aimed at the face of another player or official, can be deemed a sending off offence.

The new guidance has come from the International Football Association Board (Ifab), the body which determines the laws of the game.

An Ifab spokesperson said: "Given the current situation relating to Covid-19, if a player deliberately coughed in the face of another player, team official or match official, this could be deemed to fall within the Law 12 sending-off offence of 'using offence, insulting or abusive language and/or gestures'."

An FA document said: "If the incident was not severe enough to merit a sending-off, a caution could be issued for 'unsporting behaviour'."

It added the "action can only be supported where it is evident it was a clear act against someone else".

Additional reporting by PA