DAVID MOYES says it is time to lay off footballers during the Covid crisis – claiming critics are hypocrites who don’t understand the risks stars are taking.
West Ham boss Moyes is fed up with politicians and others lining up to call for stars who have flouted national guidelines to be seriously punished when most of them are breaking rules themselves.
West Ham boss David Moyes has defended Covidiot footballersCredit: Rex Features
Manuel Lanzini – along with three Spurs players – was pictured flouting coronavirus rules at a Christmas party
And he has launched a passionate defence of professionals across the country who are working to a higher standard of testing and regulations just to ensure the country still has something to cheer about.
Moyes said: “If we’re going to take tough measures on the players then you might as well take them on the government people as well who broke the rules, because it’s certainly not just football players who’ve done it.
“A lot of people are throwing stones in glass houses at the moment.
“We’ve just got to be careful that everybody isn’t picking on football players, because we’ll all know people who are breaking the rules in their own way.
“You have to look that the general population numbers going up. In the boroughs of London round here the numbers are extremely high – and that’s certainly not down to football players.”
Hammers ace Manuel Lanzini was among a group of Premier League stars who were exposed for breaking coronavirus guidelines by partying with others over the festive season.
Lanzini was disciplined by the club and has since volunteered to make a donation to the local foodbanks having sat down and understood why his behaviour was wrong.
Moyes says mistakes are going to happen, but insists for the most part footballers have been going the extra mile for almost a year just to continue playing.
We’ve just got to be careful that everybody isn’t picking on football players, because we’ll all know people who are breaking the rules in their own way
He added: “Manuel Lanzini understood he made a mistake. He’s apologised for it, he’s made a donation to the food banks for what he’s done and I think it was a really good gesture.
“But I think there’s a lot of people out there who’re claiming that things should be different and I think the players are doing a remarkable job to keep football going, keeping playing.
“Now and again they will make mistakes. There’s no doubt about that.
“But we have to remember the players are the ones who are taking risks every week. They continue playing, they have to go back to their families.
“So we have to say that the players are the ones who are really out there taking a lot of risks and even though they are tested and we’re all tested regular, it’s still a big risk.
“They all want to do it and we know the protocols, we know exactly what it is and in the main the players have been very good and adhered to the protocols for the best part of a year.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
“Every day at the training ground they have to get through rituals to make sure that they get in the building, never mind anything else, so the players are very much aware of what their job is, and like most human beings at times they can make their wrong decision.
“Players are in a position where we have to make sure that we do the right thing. But again the players take a lot of risks, they play at the weekend, they play midweeks, you have to travel, you have to stay in hotels, they have to go by bus they have to be around these.
“And what they’re trying to do is put on performances for supporters and people who are watching the games at home.”