Crystal Palace modifying the dressing room at Selhurst Park to make it suitable for social distancing

As the English premier league returns after being cancelled for some months due to the current health crisis, questions have been asked about whether the dressing rooms in stadiums like the Stamford Bridge, Turf Moor and Selhurst Park are suitable enough for players to observe social distancing. This is because the dressing areas on these grounds are seen as very tight or small.

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Back at Selhurst Park, The Crystal Palace football club has taken after some other football clubs by  inviting builders into its dressing room with the responsibility of breaking down walls at the facility so as to build a dressing room that will support social distancing.

The new protocols put together by the English premier league states that players must observe some level of social distancing in the locker rooms whenever they are there for match duties on match days. The meaning of this is that there would be need for more space in the dressing room so that players can observe the social distancing rules.

Part of the new protocol also states that entering and exiting the pitch from the tunnel must be staggered between the players and the officials. But a look at the tunnel at the south London stadium reveals that it’s already cramped – The rule also states that no form of congregating must be witnessed in these areas, and this brings in another difficulty for the Palace players.

The south London team will be playing their first game in the stadium when they square out against Burnley on the 29th of June, but before then, they will be going to Bournemouth and Liverpool for premiership fixtures.

Meanwhile, the two away games are also not with their unique challenges. The club has not concluded plans on how to travel to the south coast for the game against Bournemouth, but one thing is sure – they will not come into the city a day before the match for obvious reasons. There are also speculations that players can drive to Bournemouth in their own cars or that the team will make use of up to three coaches for the journey for proper social distancing.

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