London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused Jose Mourinho of setting a terrible example for children after the Tottenham manager ignored coronavirus lockdown measures to hold a makeshift training session.
Mourinho, Davinson Sanchez, Ryan Sessegnon, Tanguy Ndombele and Serge Aurier were all seen doing fitness work on Hadley Common in Barnet, north London to the surprise of members of the public on Tuesday.
Though it appeared social-distancing guidelines were being observed, the UK government have advised people to keep outdoor ventures to a minimum and to avoid mixing with those not from the same household.
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Spurs are said to be ‘very unimpressed’ with Mourinho and Mayor of London Khan has publicly questioned the Portuguese’s potentially dangerous behaviour.
Khan said: ‘My concern is people, particularly children who may support Spurs or follow football, will watch these images and say: “If it’s OK for them, why isn’t it OK for me?”
‘The point I would make, with politeness and courtesy, is ask yourself a question: “Is what I’m doing really necessary?”
‘And the answer is no, I don’t think it is necessary to be training in proximity with another player who may be carrying the virus.
‘And what you’re doing is inadvertently, unintentionally, potentially spreading the virus.’
Harry Redknapp urged Mourinho to ‘obey the rules’ and ‘do as we’re told’ after the pictures of the Tottenham head coach emerged earlier this week.
‘I’d imagine they’d all live near the training ground, somewhere, and you’d think they’d surely be better off popping off into the training ground wouldn’t they?’ the former Spurs boss told talkSPORT.
‘I guess they’re not allowed to but it would be empty, they’d be no one there. It’s closer than the park, surely.
‘But listen, we’ve all got to obey the rules. ‘If we want to clear this thing up, we’ve got to make sure we do what we’re told.
‘And if we’re told to stay in and keep our distance, than they’ve got to do it.’
Responding to the backlash, Mourinho admitted his actions ‘were not in line with government protocol’ and sent his support to NHS staff amid the health crisis.
‘I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household,’ he said.
‘It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.’
A Tottenham spokesperson added: ‘All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors.
‘We shall continue to reinforce this message.’
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