Wolves, West Brom, Brighton and Chelsea players BREAK Premier League Covid protocols by hugging

Tom Petrini Leicester City FC

James Maddison revealed Brendan Rodgers had challenged the Leicester City players to create socially-distanced celebrations after the midfielder marked his goal against Southampton by doing ‘air handshakes’ with his team-mates.

Premier League players have come under scrutiny for their celebrations amid rising Covid-19 cases, and yet more of them ignored the rules to avoid hugging on Saturday.

Rodgers gave his players a pep-talk ahead of Leicester’s victory to make sure they did not fuel calls for the Premier League to be suspended.

Leicester made effort to stick to Covid-19 protocols by celebrating goal in socially distant way

Leicester made effort to stick to Covid-19 protocols by celebrating goal in socially distant way

James Maddison ushered his team-mates away to perform a socially distant celebration

James Maddison ushered his team-mates away to perform a socially distant celebration

He celebrated by himself before miming handshakes with his Foxes team-mates on Saturday

He celebrated by himself before miming handshakes with his Foxes team-mates on Saturday

‘It’s something the gaffer mentioned, trying to do something we need to start doing but with a lighter mood to it,’ said Maddison.

‘If little things like that are required to keep football going then that’s what we all want.’

Players had been told to be on their best behaviour after some were branded ‘brainless’ by politicians earlier in the week yet there were group celebrations at Molineux from Wolves and West Brom players while Mason Mount also marked his winner for Chelsea by hugging his team-mates. 

West Brom and Wolves players ignored protocols by celebrating goals by hugging each other

West Brom and Wolves players ignored protocols by celebrating goals by hugging each other 

Wolves players hugged Fabio Silva after the striker scored his first ever goal for the club

Wolves players hugged Fabio Silva after the striker scored his first ever goal for the club 

Brighton players hugged Neal Maupay after he put his side ahead against Leeds United

Brighton players hugged Neal Maupay after he put his side ahead against Leeds United

Mason Mount was embraced by Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi after scoring

Mason Mount was embraced by Tammy Abraham and Callum Hudson-Odoi after scoring 

West Ham striker Michail Antonio was picked up off the ground and hugged by four team-mates after scoring the winner against Burnley.

‘I saw West Brom score and Robert Snodgrass runs over and jumps on Matheus Pereira who scores the penalty,’ said Maddison.

‘But that’s something we were told in a meeting yesterday we need to try and implement to stop the gatherings of people and try and turn it into a light-hearted joke.

‘Footballers get a lot of stick for stuff and it’s nice to turn something like that a serious message into a lighter note because the whole country wants football to continue.’

Rodgers, whose side moved up to second on Saturday, despite losing Jamie Vardy to injury late on, said all players have a responsibility to try to keep football going.

Willy Boly's goal was also caused a mass team celebration as he put his side 2-1 ahead

Willy Boly’s goal was also caused a mass team celebration as he put his side 2-1 ahead 

Semi Ajayi drew the visitors level and he was also embraced by his West Brom team-mates

Semi Ajayi drew the visitors level and he was also embraced by his West Brom team-mates

There was also mass hugging at the full-time whistle as West Brom held on to win 3-2

There was also mass hugging at the full-time whistle as West Brom held on to win 3-2

Clubs have been warned that they face strict sanctions if they fail to follow the rules

Clubs have been warned that they face strict sanctions if they fail to follow the rules

‘My players have done everything to be as professional as they can. I see there’s a lot of negativity around so we tried to turn it around into a positive.

‘The challenge was could we do it socially distanced and use that to provide a positive message?

‘We are all in a situation where we can help and influence people outside of football. If you can laugh at the same time then that’s great.’

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce defended his players for their celebrations as they sealed their first win under the new manager.

‘It is difficult to control your players in that moment — we can talk about it as much as we want but in the position that we are in and the length it’s been since we have won a game, it is very difficult to control your emotions,’ said Allardyce.

‘Even I wanted to kiss him! I think they controlled themselves a little bit. I don’t think it was totally out of control.’

West Ham's Michail Antonio had unique, socially distanced celebration for goal on Saturday

West Ham’s Michail Antonio had unique, socially distanced celebration for goal on Saturday

However, his West Ham team-mates then put their arms round the forward as he got to his feet

However, his West Ham team-mates then put their arms round the forward as he got to his feet

Facebooktwitterpinterestlinkedin