Leicester City’s Champions League hopes took a hit this weekend after a 3-2 loss, and fans may be left wondering if the result would have been different had they not lost three players to suspension for partying.
Manager Brendon Rodgers announced that James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury, and Ayoze Perez missed the match due to breaking COVID-19 protocolsand attending a party together.
Not social distancing
Rodgers in a post-match interview with BBC said that despite being 'good lads,' punishment was needed in order for the players to learn a lesson.
There is no animosity, nothing like that, but we have a value to how we work on a daily basis and how we prepare for games. If anyone falls short of that, then we have to move on without them.
The club itself released a statement on Sunday explaining that they were disappointed to hear about the breach that could undermine their efforts to keep their players and staff safe.
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.
The trio, especially England international Maddison, have been key figures in Leiceister’s push for a qualifying place for next season’s Champions League. The club currently sits in third place, one point ahead of West Ham.
Choudhury and Perez have made 47 appearances in total, while Maddison has had a starring season, playing 33 games and scoring 11 goals from his midfield position.
Rodgers said the three players would be available for selection for next Sunday’s FA Cup tie with Southampton.