Carlisle United and their fellow Football League clubs have been warned not to let their guard slip over Covid-19 – or risk the season being suspended. 

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch has written to all clubs reminding them of their responsibilities and the possible consequences of flouting the rules. 

While the Blues returned no positive Covid-19 results in last week’s mandatory testing, there have been a number of on and off-field incidents involving other clubs recently which have come in for criticism. 

Team celebrations and individual transgressions could put at risk the Government’s decision to allow “elite sport” to continue despite the national lockdown, Birch warned. 

He said: “Throughout the pandemic, football has provided a glimmer of hope for many millions of people affected by restrictions, but we all understand the scrutiny the game remains under and we will come under extreme governmental pressure if we continue to flout the rules.” 

“While football is permitted to continue, the actions of all participants will be clearly under the microscope, whether this be in technical areas, dugouts, or in relation to general behaviour and interaction between players on the pitch and staff off it.” 

Birch said individual transgressions should be “properly investigated” by the clubs concerned. 

He added: “Any failure to do so may result in action taken by the league individually against the relevant person where it is appropriate and/or against the club itself.” 

He said now was “not the time for complacency” over the Covid-19 protocols. 

It comes after high-profile cases of coronavirus protocols appearing to be breached last weekend. Championship club QPR admitted they should not have allowed their former player Eberechi Eze to attend their tie against Fulham. 

Crawley’s celebrations after their FA Cup win over Leeds also appeared to go against social distancing requirements. 

Like their counterparts, Carlisle's players are now undergoing twice-weekly testing after a funding arrangement between the EFL and Professional Footballers’ Association.