Steven Gerrard has said he feels let down by five Rangers players who have breached Covid-19 rules. After it emerged some players had been accused of breaching Scotland’s lockdown restrictions, the club said on Sunday they had launched an internal investigation.
Before the first leg of the Europa League last-32 tie against Royal Antwerp in Belgium, Gerrard told Rangers TV: “First and foremost we have to acknowledge that five of our players have been involved in a breach of Covid regulations, which, from the top of the club to the bottom, we are all really disappointed in.
“That will be dealt with internally. Bongani Zungu is involved, Nathan Patterson, Calvin Bassey, Dapo Mebude, who is part of the academy on loan at Queen of the South, and Brian Kinnear, a young goalie who is an academy player who has spent some time around the first team as well.
“The players will be fined and we are in dialogue with the SFA and the government to find a solution moving forward in terms of them boys.
“They have been removed from the club and the squad for now on a short-time basis while they isolate. I will sit down with them boys face-to-face when we are allowed to do so.
“I feel let down by recent events but I am trying to move forward and focus on the important things, which is to prepare the team ready for a huge game against Antwerp.”
The incident comes three months after Jordan Jones and George Edmundson were handed two-week club suspensions for breaching Covid-19 protocols by attending an illegal house party. They were handed seven-match bans by the SFA. Both of the fringe players moved on loan in January, Jones to Sunderland and Edmundson to Derby.
Aberdeen’s unwelcome record
The Aberdeen manager, Derek McInnes, said it hurt to set a club-record run without a goal, but he thought they were denied a clear penalty in their 1-0 defeat at Celtic Park.
The Dons went a sixth game without scoring but Florian Kamberi hit the post and had a penalty claim rejected by Alan Muir when the former Hibernian striker struck the ball off Stephen Welsh.
David Turnbull hit the only goal from long range in the 15th minute but McInnes said: “I am encouraged but disappointed we now hold that record. But it’s there and only we can do something about it now.”
The Celtic assistant manager, John Kennedy, was happy to survive some late pressure as they claimed a fifth consecutive win. “Really good control first half but we got a bit ragged second half, which meant we lost the ball in some silly situations and put us under a wee bit of pressure with Aberdeen breaking on us,” he said.