Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola shouldn’t blame footballers for causing coronavirus infections for partying this way.
City players came under fire this week, among other things, after gathering to celebrate Phil Foden’s goal against Brighton, despite renewed Premier League warnings to avoid hugs and kisses.
Julian Knight, the Conservative MP who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, called their antics “mindless” while another committee member, Labor MP Clive Efford, called them “an insult to the NHS” .
Guardiola, whose mother died in April after contracting coronavirus, said everyone at the club is doing everything in their power to follow the protocols at a time when many areas of life are severely restricted due to the recent national lockdown. However, he insisted that the behavior of the footballers would not affect the progression of the pandemic.
“Unfortunately, many people die and many people become infected every day,” he said.
“We will do our best to follow the new government rules. The scientists tell us what we need to do – but please, the situation in the UK is not due to football players. “
While the protocols exist to prevent the virus from spreading among Premier League players and staff, which will ensure their safety and keep the season on track, much of the criticism has focused on the look of the festivities and the example they set Society in general.
Guardiola’s Liverpool counterpart Jurgen Klopp, however, believes people are smart enough to understand that footballers who are tested two or three times a week hug after scoring a goal do not license them to do the same.
“I think people are smart enough to make the difference between people who are constantly being tested and not tested. That makes a big difference,” said the German.
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes people are smart enough to know they cannot copy the example of footballers who are regularly tested (Rui Vieira / PA)
“If we thought we threatened one or two of our teammates, we wouldn’t, it just wouldn’t happen. This is the only safe place we have out there on the field. It’s not that contagious outside. That doesn’t happen inside. “
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho said it might be possible for a goalscorer to “express the team’s emotions alone” but fellow Portuguese Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo is less confident.
“We talk to the players and say (via the logs) – but I don’t see it coming. It’s too emotional not to touch your teammate when he scores a goal. I do not see it. “
Premier League and FA Cup games that have been postponed due to the pandemic and where no teams are playing in Europe could be played on evenings in the Champions League.
?? Top division matches that have had to be postponed due to force majeure or other reasons beyond the reasonable control of the EPFL member league concerned can be postponed to dates reserved for UEFA club competition matches?
– Article 3.9 of the Memorandum of Understanding between European Leagues and UEFA
Article 3.8 of the 2017 Memorandum of Understanding between the governing body of the European leagues and the UEFA governing body of European football requires the national leagues not to schedule matches on UEFA club competition dates.
However, Article 3.9 of the same Agreement lists some circumstances under which a game may be possible – including “postponement due to force majeure or other reasons beyond the reasonable control of the relevant league”.
UEFA told the PA last year that the cooperation between it and the domestic European leagues “would be even closer in the difficult situation we are in” and that “all examples of calendar hardship will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis “.
The Aston Villa v Everton game could be played in a European week if no other suitable date is available, as could the Leeds v Southampton game.
Villa requested a postponement earlier this week due to a coronavirus outbreak at the club that forced them to abandon Wednesday’s game against Tottenham and use a youth team in the FA Cup third round against Liverpool.
Leeds v Southampton have been postponed to allow Saints to play Shrewsbury in the FA Cup third round. The League One team was unable to play the date on the original January 9th due to positive Covid-19 test results from players and staff.
Shrewsbury have confirmed that manager Steve Cotterill will not participate in the rearranged tie as he continues to recover.
On the previous Friday, Wycombe’s championship game against QPR was the last EFL game to be canceled after the Chairboys reported positive tests.
Wycombe will face Tottenham in the fourth round of the FA Cup on January 25, a club already facing Villa.