Jose Mourinho and members of his Tottenham squad appear to have flouted social distancing rules to train in public during the UK’s coronavirus lockdown.
The public are still instructed to stay in their homes unless necessary, and though the government has been expected to review their advice on April 16, this is now likely to be postponed.
One of the rules of the lockdown is that one form of exercise a day, along or with members of your household, is permitted, which has clearly proved an issue throughout the UK during a spring heatwave.
And on Tuesday, Mourinho was pictured on Hadley Common in north London, leading a training session along with Spurs midfielder Tanguy Ndombele and two others, while wearing his purple club tracksuit.
The same day saw Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez running alongside one another, while Serge Aurier shared a video of himself doing similar on his Instagram story.
There are no issues with training in public—and according to the Guardian, Mourinho is “adamant distancing was respected during his session on the common”—but it is highly questionable all parties live in the same household.
The situation is said to have “aggravated the hierarchy at Spurs,” forcing the club to release a statement stressing that “all of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors.”
Given it follows high-profile—and decidedly less virtuous—incidents of the likes of Kyle Walker and Jack Grealish flouting lockdown measures, it is hugely disappointing.
Such news would not typically find its home on a Liverpool website, but in this climate all transgressions could have an impact on the resumption of the Premier League.
One of the most likely scenarios with the return of top-flight football is that players and staff will stay in ‘quarantine hotels’ while fixtures are played out over a shorter space of time, possibly at neutral venues.
This would reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus while the Premier League calendar runs on, allowing significant financial commitments to be fulfilled.
However, to do so would be contingent on all parties involved being tested and cleared of the virus before doing so, and any complications could delay a return to play, with a two-week isolation period advised if symptoms are shown.
There is no guaranteed means of avoiding contracting the virus while undergoing permitted tasks in public, but obviously the less contact with others the better.
At best Mourinho’s public training session was irresponsible, and it is baffling that a London common was deemed appropriate given the proliferation of camera phones and social media culture.
Last Updated: 08/04/20 10:30amSadio Mane admits the coronavirus crisis has been 'difficult for Liverpool'
Sadio Mane says he will "understand" if Liverpool are denied winning the Premier League title due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Jurgen Klopp's runaway leaders looked destined to lift their first top-flight trophy in 30 years until English football was brought to a halt amid the pandemic which has gripped the world.
As it stands the 2019/20 campaign has been suspended indefinitely and will only resume when it is deemed safe and appropriate to do so, although calls have been made to make the season null and void.
That would stop Liverpool winning the title, despite their huge 25-point advantage over second-placed Manchester City and being just two wins away from being crowned champions.
"I want to win the games and I want to get the trophy, it's what I would love," Mane told talkSPORT. "But with this situation, whatever happens I will understand.1:55 Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann is pleased that Liverpool have reversed their decision to furlough some non-playing staff Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann is pleased that Liverpool have reversed their decision to furlough some non-playing staff
"It has been difficult for Liverpool, but it has been more difficult for many millions of people around the world. Some people have lost family members and that is the more complicated situation.
"But for myself, it's my dream and I want to win it this year. If that's not the case, I will accept, it's part of life. Hopefully we will win it next year."
Liverpool were handed a boost on Tuesday when UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin said he could see "no way" that Klopp's side could finish the season without the Premier League title.0:31 Matthew Ashton, the director of Public Health Liverpool, believes Liverpool's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid should not have taken place because of the spread of coronavirus Matthew Ashton, the director of Public Health Liverpool, believes Liverpool's Champions League match against Atletico Madrid should not have taken place because of the spread of coronavirus
Meanwhile, in Belgium, Club Brugge could be crowned champions early after the Jupiler Pro League's board of directors recommended the season should be ended early.
The recommendation still needs to be endorsed at a general assembly meeting on April 15, with Club Brugge, like Liverpool, runaway leaders, holding a 15-point advantage at the top of the table.
Mane, though, insists he does not yet feel like a champion, adding: "I think not yet. I love my job and I love football, I want to win on the pitch."Join Sky Bet Club and track your progress towards a £5 free Bet
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Ten years ago today, Liverpool turned around a first-leg deficit to eliminate Benfica in the Europa League quarter-finals.
Trailing 2-1 at the halfway stage of the tie, Rafael Benitez's Reds surged to a 4-1 victory at Anfield, with Dirk Kuyt and Fernando Torres providing three of the goals between them.
But who else was on the scoresheet for the home team? Can you name the full starting XI?
Test your memory in the quiz below or scroll down and click Next to reveal the Missing Men...
Roberto Firmino smashed home a sensational winner to secure a come-from-behind 2-1 victory away at Stoke City in 2017.
The Brazilian came off the bench at half-time as fellow substitute Philippe Coutinho levelled proceedings following Jonathan Walters' first-half opener.
Then, letting a lofted through ball run across him, Firmino powerfully struck a looping effort that left Stoke goalkeeper Lee Grant with no chance.
Enjoy it again below...
"It was crazy! One moment you're basically knocked out, the second moment you're back in it. It was crazy."
Ryan Babel finds the perfect way to describe Liverpool's pulsating Champions League encounter with Arsenal at Anfield on this day in 2008.
Babel himself was only introduced into the second leg of the quarter-final with 12 minutes remaining. That, however, was enough time for the tie to spin on its head, and then again.
"Champions League nights were always something else at Anfield," the Dutchman tells Liverpoolfc.com 12 years on. "I remember a great Arsenal in that game who made it very difficult for us."
Arsene Wenger's side were familiar opponents, with this being the third fixture between the two teams in a six-day period.
After a 1-1 draw at Emirates Stadium, Rafael Benitez's Liverpool held a slender advantage with Dirk Kuyt's away goal in hand. It wouldn't last long in L4, though.
A fast, impressive start from the Gunners saw Abou Diaby net the opener in minute 13. But setting up the second half nicely, Sami Hyypia made it 1-1 on the half-hour mark with a swerving header from a corner.
It was in the final third of the clash when the fun really got under way, ignited by a piece of brilliance from Fernando Torres.
Peter Crouch flicked on Pepe Reina's long ball towards Torres. With his back to goal, the Spaniard proceeded to swivel and smash a shot that found the top corner, making it 2-1.
"It is the measure of this game that such a strike could not dominate the evening," The Guardian's match report read.
Both sides then made what proved to be crucial substitutions. The pacy Theo Walcott replaced Emmanuel Eboue before Crouch made way for Babel, who had been analysing the back and forth from the bench.
"That's naturally what you do as a player," the current Ajax winger, on loan from Galatasaray, insists. "You're trying to look at the opponent you might face if you're coming on.
"You're trying to read the game where you seek possibilities. I think it was a very tight, a very open game, a lot of chances both ways."
Arsenal finally capitalised on one of the opportunities that came their way in the 84th minute. It all started from a Steven Gerrard air shot.
Groans were heard around Anfield when Walcott picked the ball up just on the edge of his own penalty area, as if spectators knew exactly what was coming.
Walcott advanced past Xabi Alonso, then beat Fabio Aurelio. Now deep into Liverpool's half, Javier Mascherano failed with an attempt to make a cynical foul as Hyypia was then bested.
With the hard work done, the Arsenal teenager rolled the ball back for Emmanuel Adebayor to fire home. That made it 3-3 on aggregate, with Liverpool facing elimination on away goals.
But plenty more late drama was to come.
"At home we were always special, especially on Champions League nights," Babel states. "With the crowd backing us, we knew there was still something left for us to take it in our favour.
"When you come on, you try to push yourself with the energy of the crowd. That game was definitely a good one."
And immediately following the restart, Babel surged into the Arsenal 18-yard box and was adjudged to have been fouled by Kolo Toure, who was operating at right-back.
Gerrard, making amends for his earlier error, confidently dispatched the resulting spot-kick to put the Reds on course for the last four.
"That was possibly one of the worst ever performances I've ever produced in a Liverpool shirt," the captain admitted post-match. "But I still showed the composure to score the penalty."
The tension finally relieved when the result was confirmed deep into injury time. Liverpool successfully withstood a desperate Arsenal attack, allowing Kuyt to punt the ball upfield.
"If you leave Cesc Fabregas in the back with me, it should be a goal for me!" Babel laughs.
Indeed, the No.19 pipped Fabregas to the ball, raced through on goal and calmly slotted beyond a disorientated Manuel Almunia to spark complete pandemonium.
"I think it definitely was one of those moments where you can always look back to it," Babel reflects. "A proud moment with a proud feeling.
"It was my first season, my first Champions League quarter-final and being important for your team, that's a great feeling.
"It's always fun to see images and highlights from that game. Definitely a special game."
Cult heroes, every club has them and Liverpool is no different, but which fiercely loved Red are you?
Over the years, a host of players have won the hearts of Liverpool fans around the world thanks to their passion, loyalty and work rate, among other qualities.
A cult figure is typically one whose talent is not the determining factor for their revered status, it is rather the intangible aspects which endear them to those around them.
Some are fan favourites from the minute they walk through the doors at Anfield, and others require a culmination of moments or even until the end of their time at the club.
And in this quiz, you can find out which Liverpool cult hero you are.Cult heroes past and present, but which one are you?
A day heralded as ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’, and a day where Liverpool completed the “greatest comeback in sport” to secure their fifth European Cup.
“We had the best defenders in the world in that team. Our back four was Cafu, Jaap Stam, Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini but we still let in three goals in six minutes.
“Something amazing happened that can’t be explained,” Kaka would later divulge, still unable to put his finger on the events which transpired on that night in Istanbul.
The Champions League campaign leading up to the final on May 25, 2005, was remarkable in itself, having overcome Grazer AK to first qualify, Monaco, Deportivo and Olympiakos in the group stages and then Bayer Leverkusen, Juventus and Chelsea in the knockouts.
And while there were moments of magic and disbelief throughout that run, no one would be prepared for what was to come in the showpiece.
The Reds had arrived in Turkey in their numbers, descending on the Ataturk Stadium by any means necessary, and the unwavering support on display left Dutch legend Johan Cruyf in awe:
“I sat there watching the Liverpool fans and they sent shivers down my spine. A mass of 40,000 people became one force behind their team. That’s something not many teams have. For that, I admire Liverpool more than anything.”
There was a distinct charge of anticipation in the air prior to kick-off, with the Reds making their first appearance in the European Cup final since 1985 – a season after when number four returned to Anfield.
But Liverpool were the underdogs and they were lining up against a formidable AC Milan outfit led by Carlo Ancelotti, which had legendary names listed in every department, from Maldini, Andrea Pirlo and Kaka to Andriy Shevchenko and Hernan Crespo.
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Liverpool didn’t have the weight of pressure on their shoulders, but they would soon face a reality which both stunned and left them reeling.
Within 53 seconds of the first whistle, Liverpool were behind and shell shocked as Maldini edged his side into the lead and with the Italians vastly superior to their counterparts, they were three goals to the good by half-time.
AC Milan’s name looked destined to be etched on the trophy before the night was out, and after Harry Kewell and Steve Finnan were both forced out of the game, the Reds’ fortunes looked bleak as damage limitation became the priority in what was a hectic half-time interval.
Meanwhile, in the stands, You’ll Never Walk Alone reverberated through the stadium as the Reds sent out a statement, a poignant one at that as Liverpool’s 20-year wait for European glory looked destined to be prolonged.
But what transpired next defied all logic. Didi Hamann’s introduction proved key as Steven Gerrard was provided the license to attack and a glancing header would trigger a comeback to be revered.
Just six minutes after Gerrard’s goal, widely considered as nothing but a consolation, rustled the back of the net in the 54th minute, the Reds were level as Vladimir Smicer, in his last game for the club, and Xabi Alonso scored to spark mass celebrations as the improbable soon turned possible.
Remarkably, no more goals would be scored and extra-time would follow, where Gerrard was moved to right-back, Jamie Carragher battled on with cramp and Jerzy Dudek sensationally denied Shevchenko from close range.
And after a topsy-turvy 120 minutes the final was to be decided from 12-yards where Liverpool would sensationally prevail 3-2, on a night which was a testament to the teams’ character as they completed “the greatest comeback in sport anywhere in the world.”
The European Cup had returned to Liverpool for the fifth time in a game which had to be seen to be believed, and, incredibly, where all 11 goals scored came at one end of the pitch.
And you could be forgiven for being left in a state of shock, as even Rafa Benitez admitted to as much after the game: “My problem is that I don’t have words to express the things that I feel at this moment.”
It was a miracle, but one which was made possible because of the tenacious and never-say-die attitude which flowed through Benitez’s team, who are forever immortalised in the club’s history books.
A new generation were finally provided with the taste of success on the grandest stage that those before them had readily experienced, as dreams came true for players and fans alike.
“As captain of that team, there was no prouder man on the planet that night,” Gerrard would later recall.
“By a country mile it was the best night of my career. It was a surreal evening and a surreal game of football and still now it is difficult to describe what happened that night.”
In Istanbul, we won it five times.
Liverpool produced a statement victory in November as they beat reigning champions Manchester City 3-1 at Anfield.
The win saw the Reds move eight points clear at the top of the Premier League as Fabinho opened the scoring in minute six with a thunderous effort from distance.
Mohamed Salah added the second a short while later before Sadio Mane made it 3-0 six minutes into the second half.
Relive the highlights of the game below via YouTube as part of our Replayed series, which is looking back on each of Liverpool's league fixtures in the 2019-20 campaign on weekdays.
FIFA has approved the extension of player contracts until seasons are able to finish and the movement of transfer windows in response the coronavirus pandemic.
With football brought to a shuddering halt by COVID-19, the sport’s world governing body has been consulting with different stakeholders through a task force chaired by FIFA vice-president Vittorio Montagliani.
Clubs, players, leagues, national associations and confederations were all represented on the task force led by the chairman of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee, working on recommendations and guidelines to address practical issues brought about by the coronavirus crisis.
The Bureau of the FIFA Council endorsed a set of principles unanimously agreed upon by the task force on Tuesday, with contracts and transfer windows key topics.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly changed all the factual circumstances around football for this season,” FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.
“So, FIFA, together with the stakeholders, has come up with some practical ideas and proposals to tackle these new circumstances.
“Whilst this will not solve each and every problem, it should serve to bring a measure of stability and clarity to football for the foreseeable future.
“We hope that this collaborative effort, under the leadership of FIFA, can provide a positive example of how football can come together and show unity, solidarity and a spirit of compromise in order to face the challenging times ahead.”
Contracts covering the 2019/20 season in England are set to expire on June 30, 2020, but FIFA has now said “it is proposed that contracts be extended until such time that the season does actually end”.
In addition, deals due to come into force in the next campaign would be “delayed until the next season actually does start” – for example, Ajax’s Hakim Ziyech’s summer move to Chelsea would fall under that.
But there are questions as to what happens if a player does not want to adhere with those principles, so too clubs looking to offload players at the end of their contract.
Transfer windows are also changing this summer, with FIFA saying “it is necessary to adjust the normal regulatory position to the new factual circumstances” when it comes to player movement.
A statement from the governing body read: “Accordingly, FIFA will be flexible and will allow the relevant transfer windows to be moved so they fall between the end of the old season and the start of the new season.
“At the same time, FIFA will try to ensure, where possible, an overall level of coordination and will also bear in mind the need to protect the regularity, integrity and proper functioning of competitions, so that the sporting results of any competition are not unfairly disrupted.”
FIFA has also looked at football employment agreements during this crisis and “strongly encourages clubs and players to work together to find agreements and solutions during the period when football is suspended”.
English football stakeholders are currently at loggerheads over player remuneration during the enforced suspension and the sport’s world governing body says decisions are primarily up to relevant parties at national level.
But FIFA has recommended “looking at all aspects of each situation in an even handed manner, including what Government measures are there to support clubs and players, whether pay should be deferred or reduced and what insurance coverage may exist”.
The governing body said: “If parties cannot agree and, as a consequence, cases come to FIFA, the factors to be examined will include the following: whether there was a genuine attempt by the club to reach agreement with the players; what the economic situation of the club is; the proportionality of any adjustment to player contracts; the net income position of players after any contract adjustment; and whether players have been treated equally or not.
“In this way, FIFA hopes that it will be able to find solutions that are fair and balanced for both sides.”
Everyone must “step up and share the pain” inflicted on football by the coronavirus pandemic, Football Association chairman Greg Clarke has said.
Clarke’s comments come as talks continue between Premier League and English Football League clubs and the players’ union the Professional Footballers’ Association over player wage deferrals and cuts.
The FA announced on Monday that its top earners were taking a 30 percent pay cut, with other members of senior management taking a 15 percent cut.
Clarke told the FA Council on Tuesday: “Football faces economic challenges beyond the wildest imagination of those who run it.
“The pandemic will be followed by its economic consequences and all business sectors will suffer.
“We face the danger of losing clubs and leagues as finances collapse. Many communities could lose the clubs at their heart with little chance of resurrection.
“In the face of this unprecedented adversity, all the stakeholders within the game from players, fans, clubs, owners and administrators need to step up and share the pain to keep the game alive.”
Premier League clubs agreed last Friday that it would consult with players over conditional reductions and deferrals up to 30 percent to offset the potential and actual losses caused by the pandemic.
The EFL is also negotiating with the PFA for what is understood to be an even higher percentage of deferral. The PFA wants each club’s need to make the savings to be assessed on an individual basis.
Two EFL clubs—Sunderland and Crewe—announced on Tuesday that they were furloughing playing staff. Businesses can place employees whose jobs have been affected by the pandemic on furlough leave, and claim 80 percent of their salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 a month via the Government’s coronavirus job retention scheme.
Sunderland said in a statement they had “no intention” of asking players or coaching staff to defer wages or accept a cut, and were committed to ensuring all staff were paid in full by topping up salaries.
Liverpool and Tottenham, the Premier League’s two most profitable clubs in 2018/19, attracted widespread criticism for their furloughing of non-playing staff, though Liverpool have since performed a U-turn.
Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan insists their actions were in order to force the hand of the players, who “need to shift their backsides.”
“The basic principle behind this is the two most profitable football clubs in English football, Tottenham and Liverpool, are the two clubs who have gone out and made a stance,” Jordan told talkSPORT.
“I don’t understand why Liverpool fans are not more angry with their players not coming to the fore and taking a pay cut.
“The leverage which was being bought by this furlough, Liverpool don’t need £400,000 of savings from furlough, what Liverpool and Tottenham did it for is because they want to leverage the players because the players are not doing what they should be doing, despite the assertions of people, they have done nothing in four weeks.”
But PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor says Premier League players have “agreed to play their part” in helping clubs manage the financial fallout.
The stalemate has seen the players receive widespread criticism, with Health Secretary Matt Hancock calling for them to take a cut.
“They’ve all agreed to play their part,” Taylor told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, adding that players are “responsible enough” to know wages are a major factor in any club’s expenditure.
“We’ve been consistent with what we’ve said from the beginning and the fact is the players feel quite aggrieved that the Secretary of State for Health should put them in a corner without looking.
“They’re not self-employed, they make massive contributions to the Treasury and they’ve also quite logically felt that if they don’t get that money, if a third is deferred or a third is cut, then the Treasury is £200 million a year worse off and that could be going towards the national health and will be needed.”
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also defended players, saying they were an “easy target.”
He told Sky Sports News: “It’s unfair to call on any individual or footballers as a group because I already know players do a great amount of work in the community, and players are doing a lot to help in this situation.”
The worst financial hit would come if the 2019/20 season cannot be completed, because broadcasters would look to be reimbursed for rights to matches that did not go ahead.
Clarke said everyone in the English professional game remained committed to doing that, but admitted it may not be possible.
“We are committed to finishing the professional football season as this resolves the issues of promotion and relegation together with title winners on merit,” he added.
“However, we may not be able to finish the season as football is not our priority, human life is, and we will do as the Government directs as the pandemic unfolds.”