Pep Guardiola insists his players will ‘do their best’ to follow new Covid-19 protocols and refrain from hugging and high-fiving… but Manchester City boss urges public: ‘Don’t blame footballers for the pandemic’
- Premier League footballers have been criticised for continuing close contact
- New protocols have asked them to stop hugging and high-fiving on the pitch
- Pep Guardiola insists his players will try to stick to the new rules on celebrations
- But Manchester City boss has urged the public not to blame footballers for Covid
Pep Guardiola says his Manchester City players will try to stick to the new protocols on goal celebrations, but urged: ‘Don’t blame footballers for the pandemic.’
Guardiola claimed in midweek that it would difficult for players who have tested negative for Covid to refrain from hugging each other after scoring a goal despite a new directive from the football authorities.
The City boss reiterated that his squad will try to follow the rules when they face Crystal Palace at home on Sunday, even though it will be difficult in the heat of the moment.
Pep Guardiola has spoken about the new Covid rules, which ask players to stop hugging
Manchester City players were among various teams to continue to hug after scoring this week
But Guardiola, whose 82-year-old mother passed away from the virus last April, believes it would be wrong to accuse footballers of being irresponsible.
‘Honestly we try, I’m pretty sure of that,’ he said. ‘All the clubs, all the manager, doctors, all the clubs in the Premier League, Champions, League One and League Two want to follow the rules and protocols.
‘We know we are concerned how important it is and how difficult the situation is in the UK today.
‘Unfortunately a lot of people are dying every day and being infected and we have to do it. We are going to do our best to follow the new rules and what the scientists inform us we have to do.
Everton players also ignored the rules when celebrating Alex Iwobi’s goal against Wolves
There are fears that Boris Johnson and Government will step in if footballers continue to hug
‘But, please, the situation in the UK is not due to football players, so don’t blame us and the players for irresponsibility in our jobs. It’s a pandemic all around the world. From day one we followed what the PM says.
‘We can do as much as we can as best as possible to follow all the protocols. When someone breaks the rules like sometimes happens it’s not good.
‘We know the situation. Hopefully we will score a lot of goals and we have to be careful not to hug much, but sometimes it’s difficult. In football if you lose the emotion of what happens in that moment it’s difficult.
‘On the other side I understand. A lot of people cannot do their jobs and are closing and we are fortunate we can play football.
‘We want to follow the protocols. I understand how sensitive everything is. I don’t think the whole problem or the pandemic in the UK right now is due to the players.’
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