KEIR RADNEDGE REPORTS: European federation UEFA has followed the lead from a number of national leagues and prohibited the pre-match handshake between players and officials in the Champions League and Europa League.

The measure has been taken as a gesture towards trying to slow to spread of coronavirus.

A UEFA statement said:

Handshakes before UEFA competition matches will not take place until further notice in line with recommendations made by the World Health Organisation.

UEFA has 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.

This will be applied to all UEFA matches and is in line with recommendations made by the World Health Organisation to minimise potential transmission of COVID-19.

The English Premier League introduced this measure last weekend though its effectivety was questioned on the grounds that football is a bodily contact sport and goals still promoted the usual celebratory goal-scoring hugs.

European club ties this week being played behind closed doors include Champions League clashes Valencia v Atalanta and Paris Saint-Germain v Borussia Dortmund. Also behind closed doors in the Europa League are Internazionale v Getafe and Olympiacos v Wolves (also Roma v Sevilla next week).