Man City 'disappointed' in Mendy after defender flouts Covid-19 rules to host New Year's Eve party

Benjamin Mendy Manchester City 2020-21
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The Blues have promised to conduct an investigation into the Frenchman's alleged breach of tier four restrictions last week

Manchester City have expressed their "disappointment" in Benjamin Mendy after the defender flouted Covid-19 rules to host a New Year's Eve party.

The Sun has reported that Mendy broke tier four protocols set out by the UK government by mixing households on Thursday night.

The 26-year-old is alleged to have invited friends from outside of his household to a party at his residence in Cheshire, with City officials now set to conduct an investigation into the incident.

The Manchester-based club released the following statement on Sunday: "While it is understood that elements of this incident have been misinterpreted in the reports, and that the player has publicly apologised for his error, the club is disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation."

Despite the club's disappointment, Mendy was still named on the bench for Sunday's match against Chelsea. Speaking before the game, head coach Pep Guardiola said he felt the defender would learn from his mistake. 

"The club made a statement. Benjamin already had Covid so he had it in the past. He is tested every day like all the guys, and was negative," Guardiola told Sky Sports. "He explained [what happened]. He knows what he has done, and he will learn in the future." 

Mendy and the rest of Guardiola's squad have benefitted from extra time off after seeing their Premier League fixture with Everton postponed on December 28.

The clash at Goodison Park was called off after a rise in positive Covid-19 cases within the City camp, but they are due back in action against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Mendy was an unused substitute during the Blues' last top-flight outing against Newcastle, which ended in a 2-0 win for Guardiola's side at Etihad Stadium.

City will be without five other senior players against Chelsea as they remain in quarantine following positive coronavirus tests.

Guardiola told a pre-match press conference: "Five players are out right now. They are isolated for 10 days ago, some the first cases that were released – four people, two players - and three more the second time."

Mendy is not the only player to have been caught breaking current restrictions, with Tottenham forced to condemn the actions of Sergio Reguilon, Erik Lamela and Giovani Lo Celso after they attended a Christmas party together.

Spurs head coach Jose Mourinho spoke out on the incident after his side's 3-0 win over Leeds United, telling reporters: "We as a club feel disappointed. We give the players all the education, we give the players all the conditions and, of course, we are not happy. It was a negative surprise for us."

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Meanwhile, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson issued a public apology on Friday on behalf of Luka Milivojevic, who was pictured at an event in London with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic last week.

"We condemn it, we certainly apologise for it," said Hodgson. "I’m certain Luka will as well. As far as I’m concerned he should take responsibility for that.

"It’s an internal matter and we will deal with it, but there’s literally nothing positive I can say on the matter."