08:17 GMT29 March 2020
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    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) announced a ban on pre-match handshakes between players and referees in all of its competitions amid the coronavirus outbreak, UEFA said on Sunday in a press release.

    "UEFA today announced that players would not be shaking hands with their opponents and referees as part of the pre-match protocol at UEFA matches until further notice", the press release said.

    The ban is set to apply to all UEFA matches and is introduced in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO) "to minimize potential transmission of COVID-19".

    On a global scale, the number of coronavirus cases has exceeded 109,000, with more than 90 countries reporting infections. In addition, over 3,800 people have already died from the disease, while more than 60,000 have fully recovered.

    COVID-19 was first detected in China's Wuhan in late December and has since spread across the world. In late January, the World Health Organisation declared a global health emergency in light of the epidemic.

    2020 Coronavirus Outbreak (445)
    handshake, World Health Organization (WHO), UEFA
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