How To Survive Coronavirus While Playing Soccer

Whether you’re watching, playing or officiating, soccer is a physical sport full of human-to-human contact. In addition to the action on the pitch, players and fans exchange handshakes, high-fives, hugs and more during the course of a game. 

But with the spread of Covid-19, the Coronavirus, doctors are telling people to avoid contact with others as much as possible. Taking necessary precautions, the traditional pre-match handshake has been abandoned in many parts of the world while some clubs have outright banned the use of handshakes.

But we humans crave touch, which makes the proliferation of Covid-19 far worse than it otherwise might be. We yearn for intimate contact with those we’re fond of, whether it’s a hug after a goal, a postmatch good-game handshake or two fans embracing after a big win. 

So how do we continue living as humans with the Coronavirus all around us? For starters, make sure to regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds, practice good hygiene and follow the advice of doctors and scientists. 

Beyond that, we’ve come up with some replacements for the traditional high-fives, handshakes and hugs that are common on and around the soccer pitch.

(Note: We’re not doctors, so if you’re looking for medical advice, please look elsewhere.)

Coronavirus Soccer Gesture Replacements


It’s hard to get out of the habit of shaking someone’s hand or giving a high-five. One easy workaround is to simply do an air-five or air-shake. All you do is pretend you’re doing the action, just from a safe distance of a couple feet. 

For those who prefer cheek-kiss greetings, you can do the same, but make sure to really exaggerate the action so people can tell what you’re doing and also make fun of you for looking silly.

The Wuhan Shake

This one’s ideal for players celebrating a goal or just saying hello. Instead of getting up and close to a teammate with a hug or handshake, just pretend you’re in River Dance and tap each other’s feet together.

The Corona Bump/Bash Bros

Instead of smushing your greasy palms into another human’s equally greasy palms containing gobs of germs, you can lightly tap elbows or, if you’re feeling more aggressive, bash forearms together like a roid-raging baseball player.

This one isn’t ideal as there is arm contact. Plus, since you’re supposed to cough/sneeze into your elbow, there’s not guarantee your arm is all that clean. But it’s better than using hands.

Hand To Heart

Shout-out to AOC for this one, and not Alexander Oxlade-Chamberlain. Greet others on the pitch or off by smiling and putting your hand to your heart. No germs get swapped and you let the other person know they’re in your heart.

A spin on this is to make an actual heart out of your hands, but it feels a bit cheesy in these trying times.

Vulcan Salute

It’s heartfelt and meaningful, though it might get you confused for a Trekkie, which could be good or bad depending on how you feel about a series that’s definitely better than Star Wars. 


This one makes for a fun celebration, less for a solemn greeting.

Booty Bump

A rump-to-rump thump is a nice, intimate gesture with a friend or teammate. Assuming you have clothes on, you’re unlikely to spread germs with a booty bump.

Fist Bump

Admittedly this one is not great, but it’s better than a handshake.

Force Choke

One for the celebration portfolio. One person holds his hands out like he’s choking someone, another (a decent distance away for safety) stands on tippy-toes and pretends to gasp for breath. 

Also good: The Baby Yoda.


While we could’ve gone with Dragon Ball Z Fusion pose ala Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez, we like Hadouken as a greeting that can be seen and delivered from afar.


Any sort of bow will do, whether slight, deep or full-on We’re Not Worthy.


The other kind of bow.

Get Creative

There are countless more ways to greet or celebrate with friends and family that don’t require touching, so get creative and come up with your own. 

Finally, it should be noted that while it’s hard enough to not touch others, we’re also not supposed to touch our own faces. This has proven quite difficult for some, but it’s important to try your best. 

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