Pep Guardiola defends Benjamin Mendy despite breaching Covid-19 protocol

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The manager of Manchester City Pep Guardiola has warned people not to be quick to judge Benjamin Mendy for breaching Covid-19 protocol on new year’s day. The Spanish tactician insisted that the 26-year-old French left-back is a “good guy” with good intentions.

Benjamin Mendy has been subjected to criticism since a report surfaced which revealed that the Manchester City defender invited people to his house for a new year’s day party which was against the Covid-19 guideline. The city of Manchester is categorized under one of the cities in the United Kingdom where social gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, are not allowed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Besides that, footballers are urged to stay away from people that are not their close family members or that don’t belong to the same bubble as them. This was to ensure that professional football continues to run amid the pandemic.

Unfortunately, Benjamin Mendy who had earlier recovered from the coronavirus infection decided to have a new year’s day party with family and friends. Though the footballer has apologized for such an act and explained that those who were at the party had tested negative for the virus before the party, the incident has continued to linger in British media.

Due to the buzz the incident generated, Manchester City were forced to issue a statement on Sunday, January 3, condemning Benjamin Mendy’s action, saying that the club was disappointed over the player’s decision to host a party against Covid-19 protocol. The club also revealed that an internal investigation would be carried out on the incident.

Pep Guardiola defends Benjamin Mendy despite breaching Covid-19 protocol
Manchester City’s coach Pep Guardiola and Benjamin Mendy.

Before Chelsea hosted Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday, the issue was raised in City’s pre-match press conference. And Pep Guardiola said: “First, the club made a statement. Second, Benjamin already had the Covid so he passed it in the past.

“He has been tested every day like the rest of us and is negative. He explained, he already said it was his nephew and his girlfriend and even friends of his girlfriend were negative too.

“But yes, he knows what he has done and he will learn in the future.”

After the Chelsea vs Manchester City match which ended 3-1 in favor of City, the issue was raised again in City’s post-match press-conference even though Benjamin Mendy was an unused substitute in the match.

Pep Guardiola had to come to the defense of the defender again, insisting that he was not going to leave out the footballer as he is always a part of his team.

“He’s one of the good guys. It must be love in our group”, the Spanish tactician insisted, urging people to judge themselves before they judge him.

“He’s a special guy for all of us, he has an incredible heart. I would like to see how many people judge him if they have the good intentions he has”, Guardiola added.

“It would be better if, before we judge others, we judge ourselves. I’m not justifying that, he broke the rules. But don’t give too many lessons to others.

“Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don’t judge him too much. Maybe many people have done the same. It’s easy to judge others.

“If everyone put those intentions aside, maybe it would be better.”

So far this season, Benjamin Mendy has played just 6 league matches and has scored a goal. He has played a total of 9 games in all competitions for Manchester City this season, scoring a goal and providing an assist. His contract with City will expire in June 2023.