Tottenham manager José Mourinho, after recently being pictured flouting coronavirus social-distancing guidelines, has accepted his actions were not in line with the UK government’s protocol of maintaining social-distancing during the lockdown period.
Mourinho was pictured leading a training session with record-signing, Tanguy Ndombele, at a London park. Defender Davinson Sánchez and midfielder Ryan Sessegnon were also filmed running together in the same vicinity. Following the breach in rules by Mourinho and his players, Spurs have since said they have spoken to all involved to “remind them to respect” the coronavirus guidelines.
In his own response, Mourinho said: “I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household. It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.”
A spokesperson for the club added: “All of our players have been reminded to respect social-distancing when exercising outdoors. We shall continue to reinforce this message.” Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan stressed that the players Mourinho should be leading by example.
My concern is people, particularly children who might support Spurs or follow football, may see these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think, well if it’s OK for them, why isn’t it OK for me? I don’t think it is necessary to be training in close proximity with another player who may be carrying the virus.
The UK government says members of the public should stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus. Restrictions put in place say people should go out as little as possible and only leave home if they have a reasonable excuse. Should they have to go outside, they must stay more than 2m apart from anyone other than members of their own household and are allowed to go for a walk or exercise outdoors once a day if adhering to social-distancing guidelines.