Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has admitted the club made a mistake in allowing Eberechi Eze to attend their FA Cup game against Fulham on Saturday.
The Crystal Palace winger has been allowed to sit in the directors’ lodge on Loftus Road to watch his former club despite the fan ban and nationwide lockdown.
It appears the Football Association is looking into the incident, which appears to be the latest example of footballers breaking Covid-19 protocols.
“We know the situation society is facing in this country – we are all very well aware of it,” Warburton said. “QPR as a club has strict protocols in place that we apply very strongly to each player and staff member. On this occasion, we should have refused the request. It’s that simple. We made the mistake.
“Eberechi is an exceptional character. I cannot speak too much of him. He made a request, we should have said no. On this rare occasion we made a mistake, it is that simple. This will not happen again. “
Eze, who joined Palace from QPR for around £ 20million this summer, was pictured not wearing a mask as he sat in the stands.
Palace has so far declined to comment, but manager Roy Hodgson said last week that no further violations of government guidelines by his players would be accepted after Luka Milivojevic broke the rules on New Years Eve. Milivojevic has apologized after his family mingled with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic and his family.