Casey Stoney has apologized for a “bad error in judgment” in allowing some of his Manchester United players to join their Arsenal and Manchester City counterparts on their way to Dubai over the Christmas break.
Although no member of Stoney’s squad has since tested positive for Covid-19, United’s game at Everton on Sunday was postponed on Friday night due to a virus outbreak in Willie Kirk’s squad. .
Just eight hours earlier, the Everton manager had reported “zero” positive tests, a situation Stoney called “confusing.” While Arsenal’s game at Aston Villa and Manchester City’s home game with West Ham on Saturday also fell victim to Covid outbreaks, the WSL faces a looming game backlog at a time when Arsenal and City are under surveillance for not having addressed themselves publicly to their players. controversial trips to the United Arab Emirates. “It’s not great for women’s football; obviously a lot more transparency is needed, ”said Stoney, who became the first WSL manager to speak openly about the issue.
“I gave permission for my players to go see their families at Christmas or to go on a break,” she said. “Everything we allowed them to do was within government guidelines, but it was a bad mistake on my part. I am deeply sorry for this.
“The responsibility ends with me and I am responsible. It was approved due to the need for the welfare of the players. But it was a mistake and I take responsibility for it. Stoney won’t reveal how many of his team traveled to the Gulf, but three Arsenal players and four from City made the trip on a trip that combined business and leisure interests, and could be classified as being on business. While the City foursome would have subsequently tested positive, at least one of Arsenal’s trios introduced the virus to Joe Montemurro’s squad, causing considerable anger among teammates who were subsequently infected or forced to leave. isolate.
“I can understand the frustration in women’s football when we cancel games,” Stoney said. “I can totally understand why people stuck at home who can’t see their families are frustrated to see players go on vacation abroad. She added that she was baffled in Kirk after saying he had ‘zero positives’ hours before the Everton v United game was postponed due to Everton not having 14 players available. “The FA has a tough job,” Stoney said. “But I’m really confused. I don’t see how this could happen. There has to be consistency. When we’re going to integrate all the postponed matches, I don’t know.