James Maddison among Leicester players dropped for Covid-19 breach

Brendan Rodgers explains why James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez were absent
Brendan Rodgers explains why James Maddison, Hamza Choudhury and Ayoze Perez were absent

Three Leicester players, including England midfielder James Maddison, were dropped for the 3-2 defeat at West Ham for breaching Covid-19 protocols.

Brendan Rodgers said that Maddison, midfielder Hamza Choudhury and forward Ayoze Perez had broken the rules.

Manager Rodgers added that all three will be in contention for next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton.

“We’re a club that has a set of values. If we fall below that, then there is always a consequence,” he said.

The Foxes boss told BBC Match of the Day that a punishment was needed “otherwise players don’t learn”.

He added: “There is no animosity, nothing like that, but we have a value to how we work on a daily basis and how we prepare for games.

“If anyone falls short of that, then we have to move on without them.”

Rodgers said the trio – who he described as “good lads” – will now be welcomed back into the squad.

Leicester’s defeat at West Ham weakened their position in the top four of the Premier League, with the Hammers moving up to fourth, within one point of the third-placed Foxes.

In a statement released on Sunday, Leicester said: “The club has made its expectations around adherence to Covid-19 protocols abundantly clear to all its personnel.

“It is extremely disappointing, therefore, to learn of a breach that had the potential to undermine the efforts of club staff to protect the environments in which our teams train and play. Appropriate measures have been taken to prevent our team bubbles being compromised.

“We wholly expect our people to behave in a way that reflects the national effort and the sacrifices made by our communities to control the spread of the virus. Those involved have apologised for their poor judgement.

“Our response to the matter will be concluded internally.”

Maddison has been a key player for Leicester this season, scoring 11 goals and providing 10 assists in all competitions.

He is in contention for a spot in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for this summer’s European Championship finals.

Perez has provided three goals in 27 appearances, while Choudhury has scored once in 20 games.

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