THE Government have read the riot act to football and warned them to get a grip on stars breaking Covid-19 rules or risk losing their backing to continue the season.
A string of Premier League stars flouted strict rules not to mix households to party over the festive period – making a mockery of the sacrifices the public are making.
Spurs’ Giovani Lo Celso, Erik Lamela and Sergio Reguilon and West Ham’s Lanzini were caught flouting Covid rules
Benjamin Mendy also flouted Government restrictions
And though they have given the green light for games to be played despite the new national lockdown, the government have made it clear patience is running thin because of the behaviour of the Covidiot players.
Oliver Dowden, secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport, made contact with football bosses in England on Monday to assure them they were not being shut down in the lockdown announced that evening.
SunSport understands he made it clear the government supports the professional game carrying on, knowing it plays a big role in keeping fans across the country entertained during the pandemic.
But Dowden also made a point of making it clear that football needs to do everything to ensure that public backing does not come back to haunt them.
The revelations Tottenham stars enjoyed a Christmas party with West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini were bad enough.
FANCY A PUNT? TODAY’S BEST ODDS BOOSTS FROM THE UK’S LEADING BOOKIES
Oliver Dowden is desperate for footballers to behave themselvesCredit: PA:Press Association
Those rule breaches showed some within the game were paying lip service to doing their bit – and the fact the Premier League and FA are unable to discipline them only increased concern.
Dowden made it clear that for government support to remain in place, then the game needs to get a lid on the problem and ensure stars are kept in line.
Premier League bosses are unable to punish players for rule breaches because their protocols only cover what takes place at training grounds and on match days.