Pep Guardiola has launched an extraordinary defence of Benjamin Mendy after claiming “many people” may have broken Covid rules.
Manchester City issued a strong statement condemning Mendy’s actions after it was revealed he hosted a New Year’s Eve party at his house.
But Guardiola still put Mendy on the bench and offered his support after describing him as a “special guy” and flew in the face of public outrage against footballers who broke Government guidance.
City boss Guardiola said: “He is part of the group, he is one of the guys who is much beloved in our group. In the stands today he was the most active players. He is a special guy for us and has an incredible heart.
“I would like to see how many people will now judge him and see if they have the good intentions that he has. But he has to understand some things.
“I would like to know how many people did this on New Years Eve but normally in this society we judge the others when first we should judge ourself.
“I’m not justifying it – he broke the rules. But don’t give too much lessons to the other ones. Of course it was not correct what he has done. It is easy to judge others.
“We only do our job. We appear in social media more than anyone else – but I don’t think footballers are more important than a doctor, or NHS people’s architect or a teacher at school for my kids. Why are we more important than the others?
“We have the same responsibility than any other person in the world an the UK. But of course we have to follow the rules because the virus here. I’m not justifying it, but it finishes here. He has to learn from this.”
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