West Ham United star Manuel Lanzini has escaped punishment from the Football Association over his Christmas Covid rule breach.
Lanzini apologised on social media after national newspaper reports exposed him and several Tottenham Hotspur stars for a breach of Covid-19 rules over Christmas.
The Argentine has just started returning to something like his best form and fitness for West Ham of late after two years out of sorts.
Lanzini apologised after Covid rule breach
But he was pictured at a gathering alongside Tottenham trio Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and Sergio Reguilon in a photo that circulated across social media on Saturday.
The midfielder offered an apology online after the article broke.
“I want to apologise for a bad mistake I made over Christmas and I take full responsibility for my actions,” Lanzini said on Twitter.
“I know people have made difficult sacrifices to stay safe and I should be setting a better example.”
West Ham later issued a statement to The Daily Mail in response to their story on Lanzini and said the matter would be dealt with internally.
Some West Ham fans in unforgiving mood called for harsh punishment while others felt internal action sufficed
Many West Ham fans – who, like millions across the country, were forced to spend Christmas apart from loved ones – were in unforgiving mood following Lanzini’s apology.
Some even wanted Lanzini banished or sold as a result of his actions.
Others felt his apology and internal club disciplinary measures should be the end of the matter.
Well it appears that will be the case after the FA confirmed it will not punish West Ham’s playmaker or players from Manchester City and Spurs over breaking coronavirus protocols.
Lanzini escapes ban with no action to be taken by football authorities – report
The FA argument appears to be that Lanzini and the other players beached the rules in their own time which means that they can not be punished within football regulations.
Sportsmail has reported that the Premier League, English Football League and the Football Association do not see it as their job to intervene.
“In fact, in the case of the EFL and FA, they each think the other should take the lead,” Sportsmail reports.
“The Premier League is believed to be happy for clubs to take their own action, since their protocols broadly relate to training and matchdays.
“Meanwhile fans have spoken out vehemently about what they see as a lack of action by the clubs at a time Covid infection rates are rising sharply across the country (and) death rates are increasing.
“Some, including Watford striker Troy Deeney, claim the clubs will not ban players for breaching Covid rules because they want to win matches. And a public health expert has told the football authorities ‘to grow some gonads’.”
Lanzini has played against Brighton, Southampton and Everton since Christmas potentially putting those sides at risk as well as his own teammates.
Pep Guardiola spoke out in defence of City fullback Benjamin Mendy at the weekend after he broke rules on New Year’s Eve.
The Spaniard says others should not be quick to judge footballers suggesting many of those criticising have more than likely broken the rules themselves (Sky Sports).