Footballers were warned this week that spitting during a football match could help spread swine flu, which begs the question…
Should spitting be a bookable offence?
Even if its a case of someone simply spitting on the ground, a booking should be brandished to the offender.
Spitting has been ever-present in football. The pitch itself and at times, players, have all had their fare share of saliva thrust upon them.
Yet, not only is it a disgusting habit, its now also a way of spreading a disease which has an alarming potential to kill.
Unhygienic and unhealthy
Worringly, three Blackburn Rovers’ players have already been confirmed as carrying the virus, with more players at Rovers, and at Bolton Wanderes, showing signs of having swine flu symptoms.
The situation down at Ewood Park has become more serious in the past week, even the manager is having to hide for cover.
The Health Protection Agency voiced their concerns towards the ‘nasty’ habit of spitting.
“Spitting is disgusting at all times. It’s unhygienic and unhealthy, particularly if you spit close to other people,” said an HPA spokesman.
“Footballers, like the rest of us, wouldn’t spit indoors so they shouldn’t do it on the football pitch.
“If they are spitting near other people it could certainly increase the risk of passing on infections.”
More to be done
Of course its positive that the HPA have publicly disapproved and warned footballers of the risk they can place upon another person, yet more needs to be done if we hope to eradicate all possible outlets of spreading.
Its great to hear that clubs such as Arsenal have already made efforts to combat the threat of swine flu.
It is now the Premier League’s responsibility, or the FIFA, to follow on from where HPA have left off, take it that one step further, and punish any player who looks to be contributing to the spread of the virus.
If possibly passing on a death-threatening virus to a fellow player isn’t an offence on the playing field, we may as well allow everyone to kick and punch each other and do away with punishment in football altogether.
A booking may turn out to be the least of their worries.