Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro has said the club will not ‘tolerate’ coronavirus protocol violations by its players after squad members were criticized for visiting Dubai during the winter break of the Women’s Super League.
Three Arsenal players, along with some of their counterparts from Manchester United and Manchester City, have traveled to the United Arab Emirates on a “business trip”.
The trip was followed by a series of postponements from the WSL following several positive coronavirus tests, with Chelsea’s 5-0 victory over Reading on Sunday being the only game to take place on the weekend of Jan.9.
Arsenal players traveled on Christmas when London was under Tier 4 restrictions, which meant overseas travel was banned except for business reasons.
Montemurro confirmed that his players were traveling for “official” purposes and therefore did not violate guidelines, but admitted that their decision to travel caused “disappointment” for the club.
“We had official scenarios of players going to Dubai and I think in the madness of the last week where things got locked and everything went as planned, yes there is obviously a disappointment in the situation and how it turned out, ”Montemurro said on Thursday.
“From my point of view it is about the moral compass and the consequences of these situations and the players have apologized for their actions. We have dealt with it from Arsenal’s point of view internally.
“For me, what’s really important about getting back to the morality of making these decisions when you’re faced with them is that it doesn’t happen again, and for me it’s all about actions now. It’s about making sure those players understand. in these situations and in these circumstances where they are role models, they are people who are in the public eye and we will not be able to tolerate these kinds of decisions, not only from a sporting point of view but from a point of view of world morality and that’s really important. “
Players who traveled to Dubai have been criticized by current and former WSL players, with Arsenal and Manchester City’s lack of public apologies appearing to have compounded the problem.
Montemurro declined to confirm whether Arsenal had imposed penalties on players who traveled, saying the club had “resumed play internally”.
When asked if his players should issue a public apology, Montemurro said: “I will have to leave that to the great Arsenal. I will have to leave that to Arsenal to make this decision from a personal and fan perspective.
“They understand their actions. We handled this in a way that we think is fair.
“We had a good discussion internally, we understood the situations, we dealt with the current situation, we dealt with the seriousness of certain things, and in all aspects, like I said before, it didn’t is not true or false. You can look at it in all aspects.
“Are some things, clear and simple, wrong? Yes they are. Are some things a little gray? Yes they are.
“We can’t change what happened in hindsight, all we can do is make sure there is a real understanding of what happened and a real understanding in the future. , that these things don’t happen again. “
Arsenal, who are third in the table after 10 games, return to WSL action at Reading on Sunday.