Tottenham and West Ham footballers condemned for breaking Covid rules

2 January 2021, 12:38 | Updated: 2 January 2021, 14:47

A picture posted on Instagram showed the four players with their families.
A picture posted on Instagram showed the four players with their families. Picture: Giovani Lo Celso/Instagram

By Joe Cook

Four Premier League players have been criticised by their clubs for breaking lockdown rules over Christmas, after they posted pictures of their 18-person gathering on Instagram.

A picture circulating on social media shows Tottenham players Erik Lamela, Sergio Reguilon and Giovani Lo Celso together at a party along with West Ham's Manuel Lanzini.

Media reports suggest the picture of the gathering was posted by Lo Celso on Instagram, although it has subsequently been taken down.

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Lanzini also shared a picture in the same house on Christmas Day, with the caption "Felix Navidad", according to the Mirror.

All three spurs players are facing disciplinary action for breaching Tier 4 restrictions, which bans household all mixing indoors.

Lamela was not named in the squad for Saturday's lunchtime kick-off against Leeds, with Reguilon on the bench, while Lo Celso is out injured.

Tottenham said in a statement: "We are extremely disappointed and strongly condemn this image showing some of our players with family and friends together at Christmas, particularly as we know the sacrifices everybody around the country made to stay safe over the festive period.

"The rules are clear, there are no exceptions, and we regularly remind all our players and staff about the latest protocols and their responsibilities to adhere and set an example.

"The matter will be dealt with internally."

Meanwhile, a West Ham spokesperson said: "The club has set the highest possible standards with its protocols and measures relating to COVID-19 so we are disappointed to learn of Manuel Lanzini's actions.

"The matter has been dealt with internally and Manuel has been strongly reminded of his responsibilities."

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Premiere League football has continued despite a rise in Covid-19 cases, however some matches have been postponed due to outbreaks of the virus amongst players.

On Friday, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho accused the Premier League of being unprofessional over the handling of their postponed match with Fulham.

Wednesday evening's game was called off less than three hours before kick-off due to a coronavirus outbreak at Fulham, the third top flight fixture to be postponed due to coronavirus this season.

Fulham's away match with Burnley on Sunday has also been postponed after more Covid-19 cases were reported at the club.

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Meanwhile, West Ham have closed their training ground at Rush Green for deep cleaning as a precaution.

It comes after defender Ryan Fredericks tested positive for the virus on New Year's Day and is currently self-isolating.

The Premier League's stance remains that continuing with the season as planned is the right option.

In a statement, they said: "With the health of players and staff the priority, the League and Fulham will agree a further action plan to control the outbreak to allow the club to resume their season safely. Players and staff will now be retested as part of a revised testing schedule.

"With low numbers of positive tests across the overwhelming majority of clubs, the league continues to have confidence in its Covid-19 protocols, fully backed by the government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled.

"The league wishes those with Covid-19 a safe and speedy recovery and will rearrange Fulham's two postponed games as soon as possible."