Jose Mourinho issues statement after breaking Government lockdown by holding training session with Tanguy Ndombele

Tottenham manager defied the Government's coronavirus guidelines when he was pictured holding a training session on Hadley Common in north London

Jack de Menezes
Sports News Correspondent
Wednesday 08 April 2020 12:52 BST
Coronavirus: How has sport been affected?

Jose Mourinho has accepted that he breached the Government guidelines on social distancing after organising a one-on-one training session with Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Tanguy Ndombele, with the Spurs boss getting a slap on the wrist from the club as a result.

The Portuguese was pictured leading an individual training session with club-record signing Ndombele on Hadley Common on Tuesday, despite Government restrictions preventing people from socially mixing with people from other households during the UK lockdown.

The club were not impressed by his actions, or those of their players, after Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez were filmed running through the same park together.

A further incident arose on Tuesday with defender Serge Aurier posting a video of himself running with another person, and the Premier League club have reminded all players of their responsibilities as well as Mourinho.

“I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household,” Mourinho said, although he has not publicly apologised for defying Government guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.”

A Tottenham spokesperson added: “All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors.

“We shall continue to reinforce this message.”

Both Manchester City defender Kyle Walker and Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish have been forced to apologise for breaching the lockdown restrictions, while Mourinho’s and the Spurs players’ actions were criticised by London Mayor Sadiq Khan for the poor example they are setting.

“My concern is people, particularly children, who might support Spurs or follow football, may see these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think ‘well if it’s ok for them, why isn’t it ok for me?’” Khan told BBC Breakfast on Wednesday.

“I don’t think it is necessary to be training in close proximity with another player who may be carrying the virus. And what you’re doing is inadvertently, unintentionally, potentially spreading the virus – you shouldn’t be doing that.”

Government guidelines do permit one period of exercise per day during the coronavirus lockdown, although this can only be done with another member of your own household with a two-metre distance retained at all times from other people.

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