Premier League and EFL stars ditch NHS Covid app to stop football ‘pingdemic’ with managers and club chiefs encouraging the move as clubs fear being left short of players for the start of the new season
- Managers and staff have encouraged their players to remove the mobile app
- Players likely to receive a ‘ping’ from their phone if a team-mate tests positive
- Many have now deleted the app as clubs bid to avoid disruption to their seasons
Footballers in all four professional divisions have been removing the NHS Covid-19 app from their mobile phones ahead of next season — many doing so after encouragement from their clubs.
Almost 700,000 people using the service were told to self-isolate in the second week of this month.
Players are likely to receive a ‘ping’ from their phone if a team-mate tests positive for coronavirus given the close contact inside dressing rooms, and many have now deleted the app as clubs bid to avoid disruption to their seasons.
Manchester United saw their pre-season preparations hit by a Covid scare earlier this week
Footballers have been removing the NHS Covid-19 app from their mobile phones
Sportsmail understands managers and club personnel have encouraged their players to remove the app from their phones, suggesting to their squads that it is the best course of action in a bid to avoid teams being left short on numbers at the start of the new term, which kicks off with the EFL Cup tie between Bournemouth and MK Dons on Saturday.
Other players — from the Premier League down to League Two — have binned the app as they seek to remain available for matches even if a colleague is isolating.
One EFL club are understood to have had a group of players — believed to be in double figures — forced to quarantine after receiving notification via the app when just three of their team-mates contracted Covid.
Daniel Farke’s Norwich City also had to cancel a pre-season friendly due to positive tests
Other teams not using the app are instead testing players who have been in contact with players who receive positive results and allowing them to continue their involvement provided they test negative.
The NHS app is not mandatory, although a text message to isolate from the Test and Trace system is an obligation.
A number of clubs in the Premier League and EFL have had their pre-seasons disrupted by Covid-19 outbreaks, which are widely considered to be the result of players socialising outside of their squad bubbles during the summer.
Many feel the app is unnecessary due to the regular testing of players.