MX23RW : Friday, January 15 14:39:59| >> :60:1109:1109:
Jan 16, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Craven Cottage
FulhamFulham
vs.
ChelseaChelsea

Frank Lampard: 'It will be hard to stop players celebrating goals'

Frank Lampard: 'It will be hard to stop players celebrating goals'
© Reuters
Footballers' behaviour is in the spotlight amid a worsening of the coronavirus pandemic.

Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard has warned it will be difficult to “dictate emotion” and prevent footballers hugging as part of goal celebrations.

Such celebrations are specifically mentioned in guidance sent to clubs by the Premier League as part of protocols designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Despite that, a number of league games this week have featured players massing together to celebrate a goal, actions described as “brainless” by the MP who chairs the key parliamentary committee related to sport.

Lampard accepts football and its players have to take their responsibilities seriously, but says it is not always easy in the heat of the moment.

Manchester City players gather to celebrate Phil Foden's goal against Brighton on Wednesday evening
Manchester City players gather to celebrate Phil Foden’s goal against Brighton on Wednesday evening (Laurence Griffiths/PA)

“So to control the emotions is a fair ask, but to dictate emotion will probably be very difficult on the pitch,” he said.

“Let’s just see how this goes because as it goes along we will see if players can control it. I hope they can.”

Premier League managers and captains are attending a series of virtual meetings set up by the league on Thursday and Friday to talk through the new protocols.

All eyes will be on Anfield on Sunday as champions Liverpool welcome leaders Manchester United.

United midfielder Paul Pogba says players will change their celebrations to comply with the guidelines.

“We will find another way, we will find another way to celebrate and be happy,” Pogba told Sky Sports.

“These rules, we have to respect them and we have to do it for the safety of everyone. We have been doing very well in Manchester.

“I did have it but that was when I was home. It’s not a problem as long as everyone is safe and that is the most important thing.”

Lampard’s Leicester counterpart, Brendan Rodgers, said: “If players make mistakes celebrating a goal, it is an honest mistake. It is instinct, and an instinct for as long as they have ever known.

“But if it means not being able to celebrate a goal then it is something we have to look at and if it helps then we will do it for sure.”

Elite sport – including professional football – has been given the go-ahead by Government to continue despite a new national lockdown placing tight restrictions on many areas of life.

In that context, Julian Knight, the MP who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee, said players’ actions were indefensible.

“Some of the scenes we have seen have been brainless and give out an awful message,” he said.

EFL chief executive Trevor Birch warned his organisation’s clubs earlier this week they were “under the microscope” as never before.

Extract from a letter sent by EFL chief executive Trevor Birch to league clubs
Extract from a letter sent by EFL chief executive Trevor Birch to league clubs (PA)

At Premier League and EFL level, clubs are expected to investigate protocol breaches themselves, with the leagues then able to ‘come over the top’ if they feel not enough has been done.

Hospitals are struggling to cope with the demands caused by an increase in Covid-19 infections and death rates are worryingly high and predicted to get worse before they get better.

Knight said a decision on whether elite sport could continue was “a matter for governing bodies and the health experts”.

He cast doubt though on whether the existing plan for this summer’s delayed Euro 2020 could be executed.

He added: “I am beginning to wonder whether the likes of the summer’s rescheduled Euro tournament will be open to go ahead as planned across 12 countries.”

The semi-finals and final are due to be played at Wembley, with matches also set to take place in Amsterdam, Baku, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin, Glasgow, Munich, Rome and St Petersburg.

It was reported last year that competition organiser UEFA was considering the possibility of reverting to a single-host format, with 2018 World Cup hosts Russia in the frame. UEFA appears to remain committed to a 12-country event, and a decision will be taken on stadium capacities at the different host cities on March 5.

Aston Villa had a second Premier League match postponed inside a week due to ongoing coronavirus issues at the club.

Villa were forced to field a team of youth players during last week’s FA Cup third-round defeat to Liverpool after nine players and five staff tested positive for Covid-19, which also forced the closure of their training ground.

Wednesday’s Premier League clash against Tottenham was shelved, with the north London club going on to face Fulham instead, before Sunday’s fixture against Everton was postponed on Thursday morning.

“Aston Villa’s home match against Everton, scheduled to be played on Sunday, January 17 has been postponed by the Premier League Board,” said a Premier League statement.

Villa’s home clash with Newcastle – which was originally scheduled for December 4 before an outbreak at the north-east club – has been rearranged for Saturday, January 23.

Elsewhere, Carlisle’s next three Sky Bet League Two fixtures against Mansfield, Leyton Orient and Forest Green have been suspended due to a coronavirus outbreak.

A statement on the club’s official website from chief executive Nigel Clibbens read: “We can confirm that a number of our football players have returned positive results for Covid-19.

“The position has deteriorated quickly this week and, after consulting with the EFL medical team this morning, it was decided that, following this outbreak, the way forward is to cease all football activities immediately.”

ID:430516:cQx
Latest coronavirus PSA banner

Coronavirus outbreak - Click here for more stories

Click here for more stories about Frank Lampard

Click here for more stories about Chelsea

Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Latest Sports Video
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free daily transfer newsletter! Sent twice a day during the transfer window.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester UnitedMan Utd17113334241036
2Liverpool1796237211633
3Manchester CityMan City1695225131232
4Leicester CityLeicester17102531211032
5Everton1710252821732
6Tottenham HotspurSpurs1786330161430
7Southampton178542619729
8Aston Villa1582529161326
9Chelsea1775532211126
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham177552421326
11Arsenal187382019124
12Leeds UnitedLeeds177283033-323
13Crystal Palace186572229-723
14Wolverhampton WanderersWolves186481926-722
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle175481827-919
16Burnley16448921-1216
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton182882129-814
18Fulham162681424-1012
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1715111139-288
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd181215929-205

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!