Tottenham stars Erik Lamela, Giovani Lo Celso and defender Sergio Reguilon have been slammed after breaching Covid-19 protocols to attend a Christmas party.
A photo on social media busted the three Spurs players together at a party along with West Ham United midfielder Manuel Lanzini.
Tottenham coach Jose Mourinho was shocked to learn of Reguilon attending the party after he thought the Spanish defender was spending Christmas by himself.
“I gave an amazing gift, Portuguese piglet. Amazing for Portuguese and Spanish. I was told he (Reguilon) would spend Christmas on his own. He was not alone as you could see,” Mourinho said.
“We feel disappointed because we gave the players all the education and conditions. We are not happy. It was a negative surprise for us.
“We know what we are internally. We don’t need to open the door to you and let you know what is going on internally.
“What are going to be the consequences and how deeply we approach that negative surprise...I feel disappointed.”
Meanwhile, Fulham's Premier League game, which had been scheduled for Sunday at Burnley, has been postponed after the London club discovered more positive coronavirus cases.
Under the British government guidelines set on December 19, those living in Tier 4 regions such as London, where Spurs and West Ham are based, were not allowed to mix with others outside their own household over Christmas.
"We are extremely disappointed and strongly condemn this image showing some of our players with family and friends together at Christmas," a Spurs spokesperson said in a statement released to British media on Saturday.
"The rules are clear, there are no exceptions, and we regularly remind all our players and staff about the latest protocols and their responsibilities to adhere and set an example. The matter will be dealt with internally."
Players apologise for Christmas party incident
Lamela took to Twitter and said he ‘deeply regretted’ the incident.
“I want to apologise for a decision I made over Christmas which I deeply regret,” he wrote.
“On reflection I understand the seriousness of my actions and the impact it has on others. I am truly thankful to everyone working hard to keep us safe and I feel ashamed knowing I’ve let people down.”
I want to apologise for a decision I made over Christmas which I deeply regret. On reflection I understand the seriousness of my actions and the impact it has on others.
I am truly thankful to everyone working hard to keep us safe and I feel ashamed knowing I’ve let people down.
— Erik Manuel Lamela (@ErikLamela) January 2, 2021
Reguilon was named among the substitutes for Spurs' Premier League game at home to Leeds United on Saturday, while Lamela and the injured Lo Celso were both left out of the squad.
Asked about the incident after his side's 3-0 win over Leeds, Mourinho added he was disappointed.
"We give the players all the education and it was a negative surprise for us," he told reporters.
"We know what we are internally. We don't need to tell you the consequences, how we approached that negative surprise."
West Ham also said they were disappointed by Lanzini's actions and that the matter was dealt with internally. The 27-year-old came off the bench in West Ham's win at Everton on Friday.
"The club has set the highest possible standards with its protocols and measures relating to COVID-19 so we are disappointed to learn of Manuel Lanzini's actions," a West Ham spokesperson said.
Lanzini said he took full responsibility for his actions.
"I want to apologise for a bad mistake I made over Christmas... I know people have made difficult sacrifices to stay safe and I should be setting a better example," he said on Twitter.
The postponement of the Burnley-Fulham match follows the calling off of the Cottagers' game last Wednesday against Tottenham.
As a result, Fulham's players and staff then underwent more testing which resulted in "a further increase in positive COVID-19 cases."
The League said it "continues to have confidence in its COVID-19 protocols, fully backed by the government, to enable fixtures to be played as scheduled."
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