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Premier League

Mourinho questions logic of internationals during pandemic

The Tottenham Hotspur manager suggested protocols for covid-19 safety during the international break do not help club managers.

Mourinho questions logic of internationals during pandemic

José Mourinho has garnered something of a reputation as an unlikely social commentator after the Tottenham manager embraced Instagram and the former Real Madrid, Chelsea and Inter Milan coach used the platform to make his feelings about the international break abundantly clear. Speaking during the current round of Nations League, World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations fixtures, Mourinho noted with irony the different protocols in place for covid-19 safety when players are with their national teams instead of their clubs.

“Amazing week of football. Great emotions in the national team matches, superb friendlies and total safety. Covid test results after matches been played, randomers running on the pitch while team sessions are taking place and much more. After another training session with only six players, it is now time to take care of myself,” Mourinho wrote on Instagram.

Club managers not happy with international covid protocols

Mourinho is far from alone among club managers in his displeasure over the regulations that govern players while on international duty. There have been numerous instances of players testing positive for covid-19 while the international authorities struggle to squeeze in a raft of fixtures in an already overstocked calendar. Some have called into the question the logic of staging friendlies during the coronavirus pandemic and several games have been called off – such as Norway against Romania – while other countries have had to contend with fielding weakened teams due to positive tests. Roberto Mancini was unable to take charge of Italy against Poland and several high-profile players, including Liverpool’s Mo Salah, have been ruled out after contracting the virus while on international duty.

Mourinho’s squad will be without summer signing Matt Doherty when the Premier League returns this weekend after the defender tested positive while away with Ireland.

Spurs’ next Europa League opponents, Ludogorets, reportedly returned 12 positive covid-19 tests after the sides met in Razgrad on 5 November. The two teams are scheduled to play the return fixture at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on 26 November.


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