David Moyes: West Ham manager says footballers must not be ‘picked on’ for coronavirus breaches


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Manuel Lanzini
Manuel Lanzini breached coronavirus rules by attending a party over Christmas

Footballers “can get things wrong” but must not be “picked on” despite several breaches of coronavirus guidelines, says West Ham manager David Moyes.

More than 60 games in England have been called off because of coronavirus outbreaks at clubs.

“We have to be careful that everybody isn’t picking on football players,” said Moyes.

“We will all know people who have broken the rules in their own way.

“The players have followed the protocols. Every day at the training ground they have to go through rituals just to get into the building. They know what their job is. Like most human beings at times, they can get things wrong.”

Argentina international Lanzini was reminded of his responsibilities by the club and later apologised for his actions on Twitter.

On Friday, he announced he would be donating to a local foodbankexternal-link as he wanted “something good” to come of his actions.

Moyes praised Lanzini for his “really good gesture” but does not want to see players treated unfairly.

“If you are going to take tough measures on players, then you might as well take on the government people as well who have broken the rules because it’s certainly not just football players who have done it,” he said.

“You have got to be careful. A lot of people are throwing stones in glass houses at the moment regarding this. We all know what the protocols are, we all know we have to be ever-vigilant and make sure we’re doing the right things.”

Premier League tightens protocols & issue warning – analysis

BBC sports news senior reporter Laura Scott

The Premier League has implemented stronger coronavirus protocols in light of a recent surge in cases, including reminding players and managers to avoid handshakes and high fives.

Compliance officers will also apply more robust policies to reporting breaches of protocols and will be tasked with checking hotel stays, travel plans and behaviour in dressing rooms.

The number of staff attending training grounds will also be reduced, social distancing will be enforced more strictly and the use of canteens will be further limited.

Stricter matchday protocols include avoiding unnecessary contact at all times, and substitutes wearing face masks.

In a note sent to clubs, the Premier League has warned it may take disciplinary action if they fail to to ensure people who breach the rules are “appropriately investigated and sanctioned”.

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