Football

Érik Lamela will not play against Brentford after Christmas Covid breach


Érik Lamela will not be available to face Brentford in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup semi-final, José Mourinho has said. The Tottenham winger was one of three players from the club to break tier 4 coronavirus regulations over the Christmas period.

A photo of Lamela at a party in a house with Sergio Reguilón and Giovani Lo Celso – together with 12 other adults including the West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini – emerged before Saturday’s 3-0 win over Leeds. Lamela was left out of the squad without explanation. Reguilón was an unused substitute while Lo Celso had been ruled out by a hamstring injury that stands to sideline him for most of January.

Mourinho expressed his disappointment with the trio after the game, lamenting how “every club does the best for their players to keep them all safe but then there are moments in private lives which you cannot control”. Now Mourinho, again without explanation, has said that Lamela will not be involved in Brentford’s visit to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. “Not available,” the manager said curtly.

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Lamela had appeared as a substitute in Spurs’ two games prior to Leeds – at Stoke in the Carabao Cup quarter-final and at Wolves in the league – having recovered from a near two-month injury.

Mourinho was pressed as to why Lamela was unavailable. “It’s not for me to tell you,” he replied. “I just tell you that against Brentford he cannot play.”

Lamela has issued an apology for his behaviour. “I want to apologise for a decision I made over Christmas which I deeply regret,” he said. “On reflection I understand the seriousness of my actions and the impact it has on others. I am truly thankful to everyone working hard to keep us safe and I feel ashamed knowing I’ve let people down.”

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