The FA argument was that the players beached the rules in their spare time which means that they can not be punished by football regulations. More so, before the festive season kicked off, the Premier League did not write to clubs on how players are expected to behave during Christmas and New Year’s Day celebrations.
Recall that Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy, Tottenham trio Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon, and West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini breached the coronavirus protocols during the festive season.
The players’ clubs have issued separate statements to condemn the actions of the players and Tottenham Hotspur announced that an internal investigation would be carried out over the club’s players’ conduct.
Tottenham’s Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso, Sergio Reguilon, and West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini had a Christmas party with family friends and took a picture of themselves which went viral on social media. Since the picture landed on social media, the players have been criticized by fans and pundits for not serving as a good example to society.
On New Year’s Day, Manchester City’s Benjamin Mendy also broke the coronavirus protocol by organizing a party in his house which had in attendance friends and family.
This was against the coronavirus protocols that forbid indoor and outdoor social gatherings in most parts of the United Kingdom to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Footballers have been made to follow this guideline, even more, to ensure that the league keeps running amid the pandemic.
Even though all 5 footballers caught breaching the guideline have apologized and their clubs have slammed them for their actions, they have remained a subject of criticism on social media.
The FA nor the Premier League would not take any action against them but the football association has stressed that breaching coronavirus protocols during games and training would not be tolerated.
According to reports, the Premier League can only punish footballers in the league that breach coronavirus protocol around stadiums and training grounds, which means that the league does not have much say over the players’ conduct outside those two areas.
However, clubs can punish their players if they go against Covid-19 rules set to guide their conduct in their spare time. They can also be punished by government authorities if they breach public health protocols during the pandemic.