England international James Maddison was one of three Leicester City stars dropped for the 3-2 Premier League defeat at West Ham on Sunday after breaching COVID-19 protocols.
Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez were absent for disciplinary reasons, with the Telegraph reporting the trio were left out by manager Brendan Rodgers for attending a party last weekend.
Speaking after the game, Rodgers said he was “bitterly disappointed” with their breach of the rules but said the players would be back in contention for the FA Cup semi-final against Southampton next weekend.
He said in a press conference: “My objective coming into Leicester City was to create a standard on and off the pitch. The standards fell way below what we’d expect and particularly at this time of the season, when we’re challenging and fighting to finish off a really exciting season.
“That standard and the values we have as a club, they fell well below that. The guys that weren’t involved in the squad today would have been, but as a consequence of their behaviour, they weren’t.
“I could easily fine players and it’s a drop in the ocean now and everything is right, but then the dynamic isn’t quite right in the squad. I had to deal with that throughout the week, the players are bitterly disappointed.
“They are good boys, they knew what the consequence was, they wouldn’t be involved in this game and now we draw a line under it. They will rejoin the squad, train next week and get ready for next weekend.”
— Premier League (@premierleague) April 11, 2021
Leicester said in a statement: “The club has made its expectations around adherence to COVID-19 protocols abundantly clear to all its personnel.
“It is extremely disappointing, therefore, to learn of a breach that had the potential to undermine the efforts of club staff to protect the environments in which our teams train and play. Appropriate measures have been taken to prevent our team bubbles being compromised.
“We wholly expect our people to behave in a way that reflects the national effort and the sacrifices made by our communities to control the spread of the virus. Those involved have apologised for their poor judgement.
“Our response to the matter will be concluded internally.”
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