Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko have apologised for causing Tottenham further embarrassment after a video showed the pair flouting government guidelines on coronavirus.
A little over two weeks after José Mourinho was pictured holding a one-on-one training session in north London with Tanguy Ndombele, Aurier and Sissoko became the latest Spurs personnel to breach physical-distancing rules after a video on the former’s Instagram story showed them training alongside each other.
Aurier, who was wearing a mask, has since deleted a clip in which he can be seen running shuttles and sitting next to his teammate. The government has made it plain during the coronavirus pandemic that outdoor exercise can be undertaken only alone or with people from the same household. A Spurs spokesman said: “We shall be speaking to both players involved.”
Aurier and Sissoko admitted in a joint statement that they were at fault: “We recognise that as professional footballers we have a responsibility to be role models, particularly during this uncertain period that everyone around the world is facing.
“We wish to apologise for not setting the right example here. We must all respect the government advice to minimise the number of lives lost during this pandemic. We cannot thank NHS staff enough for their tireless work at this time and we shall both be making a financial donation to show our support for their efforts.”
The question for Spurs is why some of their senior employees continue to ignore physical-distancing rules. Mourinho admitted he was wrong to oversee a makeshift training session on Hadley Common with Ndombele. The manager accepted his “actions were not in line with government protocols”.
On the same day the Spurs players Ryan Sessegnon and Davison Sánchez were filmed running side-by-side on the common, failing to respect the two-metre physical-distancing requirement. Aurier has also posted a video in which he is running with a friend.
Spurs also faced criticism after the chairman, Daniel Levy, decided to reduce the wages of his 550 non-football staff by 20%, in some cases by placing them on furlough. The club reversed that decision after coming under pressure from fan groups.