The return of live sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic has brought a number of strict rules for players across several leagues. The England national football team recently dropped two players ahead of a game against Denmark due to a major infraction. Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood reportedly broke the team bubble to meet women in Iceland.
According to Sports Illustrated, a video surfaced on social media that showed the two players meeting women from outside the bubble at the team hotel. This followed them making their team debuts in the 1-0 victory over Iceland on Saturday. England coach Gareth Southgate later confirmed the infractions. Instead of traveling to Copenhagen for the game, Foden and Greenwood will instead go directly from Reykjavik to England.
BREAKING: Gareth Southgate reveals Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have broken Covid guidelines and will be travelling back to England pic.twitter.com/Fnwdq5F3bL— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 7, 2020
"Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that two of the boys have broken the COVID guidelines in terms of our secure bubble," Southgate said. "So we had to decide very quickly that they couldn't have any interaction with the rest of the team and wouldn’t be able to travel to training." The coach also said that the players had been very naive.
"Given the procedures we have to follow now they will have to travel back to England," Southgate continued. "What is clear there was a breach of the COVID guidelines. We have spent so long getting those measures in places. The whole squad has really followed that to the letter."
According to Southgate, the women did not go to the squad's portion of the hotel. He confirmed that they did not breach the inner areas of the bubble. He also said that the other players did not interact with Foden and Greenwood. The two members of the team did not show up for breakfast.
This incident in Iceland drew attention on Monday with the announcement of the broken rules, but this is not the first time that a player faced discipline for a similar decision. The Seattle Seahawks cut rookie cornerback Kemah Siverand on Aug. 11 after he tried to sneak a woman into the team hotel.0comments
According to NFL Network, cameras caught the rookie with a woman wearing a disguise. She was wearing Seahawks team gear in an effort to fool others. The organization ultimately decided to cut ties with Siverand due to him breaking a major team rule and putting others at risk.
"After taking time to reflect and really consider the seriousness of my actions, I have tried to find the appropriate words to apologize to all of those affected by my poor decision and immaturity," Siverand wrote after his release. "I've privately apologized to Coach [Pete] Carroll, [general manager] John Schneider, and the Seahawks organization. I violated team rules, which would have been unacceptable in normal times, but absolutely inexcusable now during a pandemic. I understand my lapse in judgment put my teammates and the organization at risk, thankfully no one else was affected by my actions."