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FOOTBALLERS have been warned spitting [...].

FOOTBALLERS have been warned spitting could increase the risk of spreading swine flu as players at two Premier League clubs were struck down by the virus.

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) said the "disgusting" habit - a common sight at many matches - could lead to infections being passed on.

Blackburn and Bolton both have had a number of players showing signs of the virus.

The HPA said spitting should be discouraged by football clubs as experts attempt to halt the spread of the infection. "Spitting is disgusting at all times. It's unhygienic and unhealthy, particularly if you spit close to other people," said a 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 football clubs. "It's about setting examples for young people who idolise them."
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 2, 2009
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