Gerrard feels ‘personally let down,’ drops Zungu from Europa trip after lockdown breach

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Bongani Zungu - Rangers
The South Africa international has found himself in trouble with the Liverpool great

Rangers FC manager Steven Gerrard says he feels let down and "disappointed" in Bafana Bafana star Bongani Zungu and four other players for breaking coronavirus protocols ahead of their Uefa Europa League Round of 32, first-leg visit to Royal Antwerp.

Zungu, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude and academy goalkeeper Brian Kinnear are alleged to have attended a house party of 10 people in Glasgow that was broken up by police in the early hours of Sunday.

The five players were issued with fixed penalty notices by the police and following an internal investigation by Rangers, they were dropped from the squad to play Antwerp on Thursday.

“I feel personally let-down by recent events but, I am trying to move forward and focus on the important things which is to prepare the team for a huge game against Antwerp,” Gerrard told Rangers TV.

“We have to acknowledge that five of our players have been involved in a breach of the Covid regulations, which, from the top of the club to the bottom, we are all really disappointed in.

“That will be dealt with internally and the players will be fined and we are in dialogue with the Scottish Football Association and the government moving forward to find the solution in terms of those boys.

“They have been removed from the club and the squad for now on a short-term basis while they isolate and I will sit down with all of those boys face to face once we are allowed to do so.”

The incident occurred after Rangers had beaten Kilmarnock 1-0 in a Premiership match on Saturday but none of the players featured in that game, with Mebude on loan at Queen of the South.

Gerrard is refusing to let the incident distract his team as they focus on getting past Antwerp.

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“We will certainly move forward from it. We are at a real, critical stage in terms of the games coming up and where we are as a club,” said Gerrard.

“It won't affect us as a group - I have been absolutely delighted with the group in terms of their application.

“I am really excited and looking forward to the game and so are the players - they have trained extremely well going into this game and it is important we focus on the important things which is the games that are in front of us.”