Morgan hits out at Mourinho for organising training session at park

Jose Mourinho admits he broke the government’s social distancing rules after he and his Tottenham players were filmed training in a London park, but controversial Spurs boss does NOT apologise

  • Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho was spotted training with players in London park
  • In the photos and videos, stars appeared to flout social distancing guidelines
  • Piers Morgan slammed Spurs boss Mourinho on his Good Morning Britain show
  • He said he was ‘surprised’ and that it sends out ‘completely the wrong signal’ 
  • Mourinho has since come out and apologised, urging others to follow the rules 
  • Sadiq Khan and Harry Redknapp have also hit out at Mourinho and his players 
  • A government spokesperson said social distancing rules apply to everyone 

Piers Morgan has slammed Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho after he was spotted taking a training session with players in a London park.

The Spurs boss faces a police warning after organising the workout, in which his players appeared to flout the government’s social distancing guidelines amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and the club have since received a ticking off from the government too.

Morgan did not hold back in his criticism of the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager, letting rip on Good Morning Britain on Wednesday.  

Jose Mourinho was spotted out in a park with players as he appeared to take a training session

Piers Morgan, speaking on Good Morning Britain, hit out at the Spurs boss for his actions

‘On a less positive note, we have found more idiots, I’m afraid,’ Morgan told his co-host Susanna Reid. ‘What are you thinking Jose? What are you thinking players? 

‘Tottenham, at the moment, quite rightly, are getting vilified as a club for the decision taken by their billionaire owner Joe Lewis and their chief executive Daniel Levy to furlough staff when they’ve got gazillions to spend on players.

‘And now we see the players and the manager having an unofficial training session, apparently not sanctioned by the club.’ 

After footage of Mourinho, Tanguy Ndombele, Ryan Sessegnon and Davinson Sanchez emerged on Tuesday, a government spokesperson said: ‘Our advice is clear and applies to everybody: stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

‘You should only exercise by yourself or with your household and you should stay two metres away from anyone else at all times.

‘Anyone not doing this is endangering people’s lives.’

Mourinho has since come out and apologised for his actions, stating: ‘I accept that my actions were not in line with government protocol and we must only have contact with members of our own household. 

‘It is vital we all play our part and follow government advice in order to support our heroes in the NHS and save lives.’

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan was also shown the video and pictures of Mourinho and was quick to talk about the responsibility those in the public eye have, and the need for them to obey guidelines.

‘My issue is, leading by example,’ he told BBC Breakfast, ‘and my concern is, particularly children, who may support Spurs or follow football, they watch these images, pick up a paper, watch the internet and think, “well if it’s okay for them, why isn’t it okay for me?”

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has also hit out at Mourinho and says he should lead by example

‘And that’s why it’s so important, all of us, we’re doing this interview using Skype. I’ve not left my home to do media or to do work for the last three weeks or so, to demonstrate that it is possible to work from home… unless you really, really, really have to leave home.

‘And the point I’d make, with politeness and courtesy, is ask yourself the question: is what I’m doing really necessary? 

‘And the answer is no, it isn’t necessary to be training in close proximity with another player, who may be carrying the virus, and what you’re doing is inadvertently, unintentionally potentially spreading the virus. You shouldn’t be doing that.’ 

Mourinho, who has already been warned by Tottenham, was spotted overseeing a drill involving members of his squad – most notably Ndombele – at Hadley Common in Barnet. 

Mourinho and his players appeared to flout social distancing rules by meeting up in Barnet

Tottenham duo Davinson Sanchez and Ryan Sessegnon were spotted out running on Tuesday

In clips and photos posted on social media, Sanchez and Sessegnon were also filmed jogging side by side elsewhere in north London, while Aurier was filmed in close quarters by a friend during a run.

Morgan admits he was shocked to see Mourinho so openly ignoring the government’s advice as the country tries to halt the spread of coronavirus. 

‘I was very surprised about this because Mourinho has been very good in delivering food parcels for the media and so on,’ Morgan continued.

‘But for Jose Mourinho, the Tottenham manager, to be having an unofficial training session with players, in which they’re clearly ignoring the social distancing rules. It sends out completely the wrong signal.’ 

Mourinho insists he and Ndombele remained the required distance apart during their training session.

Though Spurs chiefs were understood to be left unimpressed by the disregard for the rules which were introduced to try and halt the spread of the deadly virus.

A Spurs spokesperson said: ‘All of our players have been reminded to respect social distancing when exercising outdoors. We shall continue to reinforce this message.’

In a separate video, Ivory Coast international defender Serge Aurier was seen out with a friend

Spurs said that they would remind Mourinho and his players to respect social distancing

Arsenal fan Morgan was joined by his show’s resident medical expert, Dr Hilary Jones, who also weighed in on the subject and hit out at Mourinho.

‘It sends the wrong signal and people need to be constantly reminded of what the guidelines are,’ he began. ‘One form of exercise for a short period of time, not sitting on the grass sunbathing – that doesn’t have any benefit, whereas exercise does.

‘There are multiple reasons why we give these guidelines and if people follow them we will save lives and protect the NHS.’ 

Former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp also appeared on talkSPORT on Wednesday morning and was asked about Mourinho’s actions.

Harry Redknapp says it may have been more appropriate for players to use the training ground

In response, Redknapp asked whether it may have been more appropriate for Spurs’ players to use the facilities at their training ground.   

‘I imagine they all live near the training ground somewhere, surely they’d be better off popping into the training ground wouldn’t they?’ he said.

‘I mean that would be empty, there would be no one there. It’s probably as close as the park though, when you think about it, I don’t know. 

‘Listen, we’ve all got to obey the rules, haven’t we. If we want to clear this thing up. We’ve got to make sure if we’re told to stay in and keep our distance, then we’ve got to do it.’

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