Footballers branded ‘brainless’ for celebrations during Covid-19

Players have been asked to avoid unnecessary contact, Guardiola defends City players

Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates scoring the winner during the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/EPA

Phil Foden of Manchester City celebrates scoring the winner during the Premier League match against Brighton & Hove Albion. Photo: Laurence Griffiths/EPA

 

Footballers who have continued to hug when celebrating goals despite the worsening coronavirus crisis have been “brainless”, according to the chair of the key parliamentary sports committee.

Manchester City and Fulham players crowded together after scoring in their respective matches on Wednesday. The Premier League’s latest Covid protocols make no explicit reference to celebrations but call on players to avoid unnecessary contact.

Pep Guardiola defended City’s players, saying: “Sometimes the brain is a subconscious one and you are just there in the moment, you are not thinking.”

Julian Knight, the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said: “Some of the scenes we have seen have been brainless and give out an awful message.”

The Football Association has asked clubs to observe protocols not only as they are written but to subscribe to their spirit. The EFL’s chief executive, Trevor Birch, warned its clubs they were “under the microscope” as never before after professional sport was given government go-ahead to continue amid a new national lockdown.

Knight, the Conservative MP for Solihull, said a decision on whether elite sport could continue was “a matter for governing bodies and the health experts”.

He cast doubt though on whether the plan for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 finals could be executed. He said: “I am beginning to wonder whether the likes of the summer’s rescheduled Euro tournament will be open to go ahead as planned across 12 countries.”

The semi-finals and final are due to be played at Wembley, with matches also set to take place in Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg. – Guardian

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.