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Footballers given spitting swine flu warning

Footballers given spitting swine flu warning

Footballers were warned on Tuesday spitting could increase the risk of catching swine flu as Bolton joined English Premier League rivals Blackburn in saying squad members had contracted the virus.
England's Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the "disgusting" habit - a common sight at football matches - could see the infection passed on.
Blackburn and Bolton are set to be without several players for their League Cup matches this week because of swine flu.
"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.
"Certainly, spitting is a nasty habit that should be discouraged - and it should be discouraged by the clubs.
"It's about setting examples for young people who idolize them."
Bolton manager Gary Megson said Tuesday several players were suffering with swine flu. His comments came a day after Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce said the virus had struck at his club.
Bolton play Chelsea in the League Cup yesterday and while Allardyce was angry with officials for not giving a lead in getting games called off, Megson said: "From our own point of view, you're not going to be a business with quite a few employees and it totally escapes you."
Chelsea beat Blackburn 5-0 last weekend, a victory soon overshadowed by swine flu concerns.
However, the Premier League leaders' manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was relaxed about the prospect of members of his squad contracting the virus.


Updated : 2021-03-06 03:53 GMT+08:00