sport news DANNY MURPHY: Players who flout Covid rules should get fines AND bans

DANNY MURPHY: Players who flout Covid rules should be hit with fines AND match bans... football cannot be divorced from the reality of what is happening in the world Players must adhere to coronavirus guidelines or football cannot continue Players who continue to flout the rules should be hit with bans and fines Without proper sanctions for offenders, players will continue to break the rules 

By Danny Murphy For The Mail On Sunday

Published: 00:57 GMT, 10 January 2021 | Updated: 00:57 GMT, 10 January 2021

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I have a vested interest in keeping football going, I love the game like millions of others and work in the industry as well. I understand it brings a feel-good factor in difficult times.

But we can’t allow football to be divorced from the reality of what is happening in the rest of the world. If we want matches to continue, and ideally we do, players have to adhere to rules and guidelines otherwise the moral argument to carry on becomes impossible to make.

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I know how young footballers think, I was one once, and wealth and fame can give you an ego where you think normal rules don’t apply. It’s not malicious but it’s the reality and you need a proper deterrent to stop.

Football players who flout national coronavirus rules should be hit with bans and fines

Football players who flout national coronavirus rules should be hit with bans and fines

If players think there are no consequences to their actions apart from having to conjure up an apology with the help of a PR specialist, there is no reason for them to change their behaviour.

It’s why I think the Premier League have to act now and come up with a disciplinary procedure that anyone in the game who flouts lockdown rules receives a three-match ban and gets fined two weeks’ wages.

It should have happened already but should certainly be introduced now with cases on the rise, quite alarmingly in some areas of the country. The reality is if we do nothing and some players think they are above the guidelines, the entire fixture list will come to a grinding halt.

Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) celebrates at a New Year's Eve party with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic – in another breach of Covid-19 rules by Premier League footballers

Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic (left) celebrates at a New Year's Eve party with Fulham's Aleksandar Mitrovic – in another breach of Covid-19 rules by Premier League footballers

Benjamin Mendy hosted a New Year's party at his mansion, rule-breakers need tough sanctions

Benjamin Mendy hosted a New Year's party at his mansion, rule-breakers need tough sanctions

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Footballers have even more of an obligation to follow the rules and I am sure clubs are making their obligations crystal clear. Even in my day, they would hammer home messages

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