Palace's Eberechi Eze appears to break coronavirus lockdown rule
Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze appears to break coronavirus lockdown rules as he watches QPR play from the stands at Loftus Road – and his visit was ‘approved by the FA’ despite government order to stay at home unless for essential trips
- Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze was in the stands of QPR’s FA Cup loss to Fulham
- The winger sat in the directors’ box at Loftus Road and was socially distanced
- It is understood Eze was a guest of QPR and the FA approved Saturday’s visit
- Roy Hodgson admitted no further breaches of lockdown rules will be accepted
- Palace captain Luka Milivojevic broke Covid-19 regulation on New Year’s Eve
Eberechi Eze paid his former club QPR a visit on Saturday in a move which may not go down well with his current side Crystal Palace.
The winger, who joined Palace from Rangers for £20million this summer, sat in the directors’ box at Loftus Road as the Hoops played Fulham in the FA Cup, behind closed doors.
Palace boss Roy Hodgson this week made it clear to his players that no further breaches of Government coronavirus guidelines will be accepted after captain Luka Milivojevic breached the rules on New Year’s Eve.
Crystal Palace midfielder Eberechi Eze visited QPR’s FA Cup tie with Fulham on Saturday
Eze is a former QPR player and the Palace star watched his side lose 2-0 to local rivals Fulham
Milivojevic issued an apology on Wednesday after his household mixed with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic and his family.
Eze’s visit to Loftus Road on Saturday would go against the UK Government’s lockdown restrictions to remain in their homes unless making essential trips.
According to PA, Eze was a guest of QPR with the visit approved by the FA subject to social distancing protocols being followed.
The Sun also claim Eze ignored those social distancing rules by speaking to friends while not wearing a face mask.
The visit would go against Government rules to stay at home unless making essential trips
Sportsmail have asked Eze, Crystal Palace, QPR and the FA for comment.
Clubs are only allowed to welcome ten guests in the directors’ box during a game, with only essential personnel permitted to attend matches.
QPR boss Mark Warburton said: ‘I’ve no idea whether he broke protocols or not. You’d have to ask our health and safety officer because that’s above my pay-grade.
‘I want to talk about the game. What other players do in their own time, I can’t comment on that. It’s not my area of expertise. Far from it.’
Reports claim Eze (far left) was a guest of QPR, with the visit approved by the FA
Hodgson was furious that Eagles club captain Milivojevic was caught breaking the UK’s coronavirus rules and that the Serbian would be punished internally.
‘We condemn it, we certainly apologise for it,’ said the Palace manager following Palace’s first match since New Year’s Eve. ‘I’m certain Luka will as well. As far as I’m concerned he should take responsibility for that.
‘It’s an internal matter and we will deal with it, but there’s literally nothing positive I can say on the matter.’
Meanwhile, Mitrovic’s actions came amid a coronavirus outbreak at Fulham which forced the postponement of the Cottagers’ matches with Burnley and Tottenham over the festive period.
Eze’s QPR visit comes after Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) broke lockdown rules on New Year’s Eve with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic (right)
Eagles manager Roy Hodgson (above) was left furious after his captain broke the rules
The Serbian duo are not the only top-flight players in English football to have been seen breaking the lockdown rules over Christmas.
Tottenham trio Sergi Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso were spotted celebrating Christmas under one roof with their families – along with West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini and his relatives.
Lockdown restrictions over Christmas banned the indoor mixing of households, with Hammers player Lanzini posting an image of their celebrations on Instagram.
All four players publicly apologised for their actions on social media with the three Spurs players fined by the club and were reminded of their responsibilities.
Spurs’ Reguilon, Lamela and Lo Celso also broke lockdown rules over Christmas with Lanzini
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho even gave Spurs left-back Reguilon a Portuguese piglet as a gift as he believed the Spaniard would be spending Christmas Day on his own.
Lo Celso is currently struggling with a hamstring injury so would not have been involved in Tottenham’s on-pitch activities anyway, though Lamela and Reguilon have both been dropped from the Spurs starting line-up since Christmas.
Mourinho mysteriously refused to go into detail as to why Lamela was not named in the matchday squad for last week’s Carabao Cup semi-final with Brentford.
West Ham midfielder Lanzini announced earlier this week that he will be donating to a London foodbank to try and make up for his actions.
Manchester City are also investigating the actions of their defender Benjamin Mendy on New Year’s Eve after the Frenchman admitted to hosting a party that night.
Benjamin Mendy (left) admitted to breaking the rules by hosting a New Year’s Eve party
A spokesman for Mendy said last week: ‘Benjamin and his partner allowed a chef and two friends of his partner to attend his property for a dinner party on New Year’s Eve.
‘Ben accepts that this is a breach of Covid-19 protocols and is sorry for his actions in this matter. Ben has had a Covid test and is liaising with Manchester City about this.’
The player was included in the matchday squad for both of City’s matches since New Year’s Eve, though started each game from the substitutes’ bench.
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