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Page last updated at 17:52 GMT, Wednesday, 9 September 2009 18:52 UK

Swedish FA acts to curb swine flu

Sweden's Olof Melberg (left) shakes hands
The SFA recommend players do not shake hands before or after matches

The Swedish Football Association has recommended players avoid shaking hands before and after matches because of fears over the spread of swine flu.

There has been one reported case of the illness in Sweden with several players from one team sidelined, but as yet no top-division sides affected.

"It's not a ban, but a recommendation," said Per Renstrom, the SFA physician.

"It's up to the players, but during a shorter period we think that handshakes should be avoided."

The Swedish Football Association has more than 3,300 member clubs with a total of more than one million members.

Renstrom, a former sports medicine professor at the University of Vermont, said it's up to the discretion of team leaders to recommend if handshakes should be avoided during World Cup qualifiers.

606: DEBATE

Sweden are away to Malta on Wednesday night in a group one qualifier for South Africa 2010.

In July, Manchester City defender Micah Richards was diagnosed with swine flu whilst on holiday in Ibiza but recovered fully following a period of quarantine and treatment.

In the same month, French league club Monaco revealed that four players were being treated for the illness, all of which made a full recovery.

In May, two Mexican clubs - Chivas Guadalajara and San Luis - withdrew from South America's Copa Libertadores because of the swine flu outbreak in the country.



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see also
Q&A: Advice about swine flu
01 Jul 10 |  Health
Horsfield 'contracted swine flu'
29 Jul 09 |  Port Vale
Richards makes swine flu recovery
11 Jul 09 |  Man City
Footballer struck with swine flu
02 Jul 09 |  South of Scotland
Flu forces Mexicans out of Copa
08 May 09 |  Football


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