Leeds United's latest coronavirus response sees academy move out of Thorp Arch

Leeds United's academy players and their women's squad will train away from Thorp Arch in the Championship club's latest response to the coronavirus.

A sign at Elland Road on Saturday

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The Whites have been the most active of the Yorkshire clubs in responding to the virus, going beyond the guidelines issued by the Football League.

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Usually, all Leeds's players share the facilities at their Thorp Arch training facility, helping to bring greater cohesion and making integration into the small first-team squad easier for the junior players.

But the temporary decision has been made to move all boys' age groups below under-18 level elsewhere during the outbreak, along with the club's female players. The club has not ruled out moving the under-18 and under-23 players too if the risk of the virus spreading increases.

There is no timescale on how long the measures will be in place.

“We believe the fact that the facility is shared with our first team leaves us with little choice but to take this action, to protect Marcelo Bielsa’s squad from any risk of coming into contact with anyone who has contracted the virus,” read a club statement.

At the weekend players in the Football League and Premier League did not engage in the pre-match “fair play handshake” which has been an established ritual because as a precautionary measure against the virus, which is spread via contact with the hands and face.

Leeds went further, discouraging supporters from high-fiving or hugging during Saturday's 2-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.

They have also asked their players not to agree to “selfies” with fans, or to sign autographs, and moved the team bus closer to the dressing rooms. Players were asked to return to their vehicles after the game as quickly as possible.

Hygiene advice was also posted on the big screen, in the concourses and toilets at Elland Road.

The footballing bodies are in regular contact with the Government and the health authorities over the virus. The possibility of games behind played behind closed doors remains.

This, and the cancellation of fixtures, has already taken place in some countries, most notably Italy, home of Leeds chairman Andrea Radrizzani.