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JEFF POWELL: What makes Euro 2020’s stars think they can trample on Covid rules?

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JEFF POWELL: What makes Euro 2020’s stars think they can trample on Covid rules the rest of us must obey? Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell must know better but far heavier blame rests on those who allowed this football fiasco to go ahead

  • Why do footballers think they can ignore Covid restrictions that we must obey?
  • They hug, kiss or scream at each other and bump heads in affection or anger
  • Somehow, it is not human contact when rival players clatter into each other
  • Mason Mount, 22, and Ben Chilwell, 24, are experienced enough to know better
  • But far heavier blame rests on politicians for allowing Euro 2020 to go ahead
  • If a huge spike in infections follows this football fiasco, we’ll know who to blame
  • Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here

Don’t ask me why two England players should have to self-isolate after hugging a Chelsea pal at Wembley but none of the Covid victim’s Scotland team-mates appear in danger of missing crucial Euro-ties.

I have no idea. Nor does Gary Lineker. Nor I suspect does our jailer Matt Hancock or anybody else engaged in either running this football tournament or ruining this country.

Common sense tells us that if a footballer or anybody else tests negative for coronavirus they should be free to go about their business.

Why do footballers think they can ignore the Covid restrictions that the rest of us must obey?

Why do footballers think they can ignore the Covid restrictions that the rest of us must obey? 

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are experienced enough to know better than hugging Billy Gilmour after England's draw with Scotland

Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are experienced enough to know better than hugging Billy Gilmour after England’s draw with Scotland

Even so, there is a far bigger question looming beyond Tuesday night’s matches between England and the Czech Republic and Scotland against Croatia.

What is it about footballers, like politicians, that they believe they are perfectly entitled to trample on the pandemic restrictions which the rest of us are obliged to obey?

Are they grateful to populist Boris and his oft-mentioned ‘friends and neighbours’ in Europe for letting them gather in groups of 11 to play football in front of large crowds about as socially distanced as tinned sardines while airlines are grounded and weddings are the loneliest places in the land?

Far from it. They blithely wrap affectionate arms round each other’s shoulders, kiss or scream in each other’s faces, bump heads in affection or anger and protest in maddened herds at referees.

Footballers still hug each other, bump heads in affection or anger and protest referees in herds

Footballers still hug each other, bump heads in affection or anger and protest referees in herds

As for those infantile celebrations which include diving on top of each other in man mountains if any of them manage that apparently extraordinary feat of actually scoring a goal, they have carried on just the same mindless way they did before scores of thousands of people began getting wiped out by being in the same room as a Covid carrier.

Also, by some impossibly convoluted logic, it is not deemed to be human contact when rival players clatter into each other on the pitch. Not even when 20 of them are battling for the ball in a penalty area as congested as a Glasgow pub at last orders.

Not all the culprits in Euro 2020 are as young as Billy Gilmour, the 20-year-old Scot who became the centre of this shambles when he tested positive after being named man of the match at Wembley.

Mount, 22, and Chilwell, 24, are experienced enough to know better. More so the senior players potentially spreading the virus across the playing fields of Europe.

Celebrations have carried on as they did before thousands of people began getting wiped out

Celebrations have carried on as they did before thousands of people began getting wiped out

Not that they are the major perpetrators. Far heavier blame rests on the administrators of the game for going ahead with this show already tainted by its greedy rigging of the format so that only eight of the 24 nations are eliminated during the monotony of the group stage, hopefully none of the glitterati of television funding.

But in truth what more could we expect when the politicians who sanctioned this contagious event and thereby invited fans to throng the streets and stadiums were among those seen junketing mask-less at the G7 and are alleged to be jostling it up in hideaway bars in the cramped honeycomb of No 10 Downing Street?

If a massive spike in infections follows this football fiasco, jeopardising lives and plunging us all back into lock-ups with no hope of escape by land, sea or air we will know who to blame.

Everyone from Matt to Mason, from Boris to Billy and Ben.

Far heavier blame rests on Boris Johnson's government for allowing this football fiasco

Far heavier blame rests on Boris Johnson’s government for allowing this football fiasco

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