Estonian football clubs return to full contact training

Premium liiga team Paide Linnameeskond
Premium liiga team Paide Linnameeskond Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

At Thursday's e-session, the government decided to extend the training opportunities for big league teams of team sports.

Following the government's order, premier division squads of team sports are now allowed to conduct training sessions outdoors.

Previously, candidates for Estonian adult teams were allowed to train outdoors as of May 5. The explanatory memorandum specifies that given the specific nature of team sports and internationally agreed upon competition regulations, it is reasonable to assign separate restrictions for different team sports' trainings in open air.

For example, pursuant to the international rules of football, a team consists of 11 players simultaneously on the field, while backup players, coaches, and auxiliary staff are also involved. In order for the team to train and evolve as one in the open air, separate restrictions must apply for different competitive sports, because currently, a maximum of ten athletes are allowed to train together.

Team sports are football, basketball, handball, volleyball, floorball, hockey, rugby, and cricket. Teams of more than ten members are involved in football, rugby, and cricket. Pursuant to the amendments, the 2+2 rule will not apply in these trainings.

On Tuesday, the Estonian Football Association (EJL) requested the government to approve restarting the professional football season on May 19 in order to finish the season in December, which will most probably be discussed on Tuesday.

For the premier division of Estonian football, the government's decision means that full training sessions will resume from Friday, May 8.

"The second stage of training sessions has begun for the Premium liiga teams," EJL general secretary Anne Rei confirmed. "This means that the size of training groups is not limited any more, contact training sessions and touching the ball with hand and head is now allowed. Specific additional requirements still apply: a negative coronavirus test is a prerequisite for participating in a training session, no indoor premises will be used, players have to arrive to sessions on their own and handshakes and hugs are to be avoided," Rei explained.


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Editor: Anders Nõmm

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