European stars 'bring a stain on the whole industry of football' with shelter-in-place violations

Shelter-in-place rules and their enforcement vary from country to country and state to state.

In San Francisco, where the first shelter-in-place orders were issued four weeks ago, there were just two citations issued in the first three weeks, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, one to a trespasser and the other to an 86-year-old abortion protester outside a Planned Parenthood clinic.

In many places, there have been images of drones hovering over crowds telling them to move on at a distance from one another.

Inevitably, there have been celebrity violators, especially in early days of confinement orders. In Europe, that means soccer stars, who have flaunted shelter-in-place rules and "bring a stain on the whole industry of football," lamented Good Morning Britain host Piers Morgan.

Here are a few publicized cases:

Mason Mount. Shelter-in-place rules weren't instituted in the United Kingdom until March 23, but Chelsea players were self-isolating because teammate Callum Hudson-Odoi tested positive to the coronavirus. That did not stop 21-year-old Mount from going out in a park and playing a pickup-game  with West Ham midfielder Declan Rice, one of his best friends. Mount was "reminded of his responsibilities" and fined an undisclosed amount.

Amine Harit. The 22-year-old Moroccan international, who plays for Schalke 04, was fined 100,000 euros ($109,000) for being caught at a "corona party" at the Buddy Bar, a shisha bar in Essen, along with 10 other people when police were called to break up the gathering past midnight. German restrictions, later tightened, banned establishments from being open after 6 p.m. In announcing the fine, Schalke sporting director Jochen Schneider said, "In this time of crisis, things which were normal before can't be tolerated now." Harit, who had gone on social media to warn fans about going out days before, gave part his fine to a fund Schalke set up with a supporters' group to provide food for at-risk residents. Harit contributed a separate undisclosed amount to a Moroccan aid fund.

Luka Jovic. The 22-year-old Real Madrid star drew the ire of Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic when he was seen going out with his pregnant girlfriend, Sofija Milosevic, and Nikola Ninkovic, who plays in Italy for Serie B Ascoli. Jovic was supposed to finish up in Belgrade his 14-day self-isolation first started in Madrid when a Real Madrid basketball player tested positive for the coronavirus, and he claimed he did not know the Serbian curfew rules. "If either of them leaves [again]," Vucic said of the two players, "they will be arrested. I think the two of them regret what they have done, but I'll make it clear to them that people's lives are much more important than their millions."

Jack Grealish. A day after tweeting a promotional video to encourage social distancing, the Aston Villa captain's Range Rover was involved in a minor car accident while he returned home the morning after an evening spent at the home of a former teammate. Police didn't issue him a citation, but Aston Villa fined him an amount equal to two weeks of his salary -- $187,000 -- which was donated to the University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham.

Kyle Walker.  The Manchester City defender (photo) was facing a fine of more than $300,000 for hosting a party with a friend and two call girls at his home during the UK lock-down. Walker also had issued a statement to English fans about staying at home, telling them they should check in on others but not visit them. He apologized for doing exactly what he told others not to do. "There are heroes out there making a vital difference to society at the moment," he said, "and I have been keen to help support and highlight their amazing sacrifices and life-saving work over the past week. My actions in this matter are in direct contrast to what I should have been doing regarding the lock-down. And I want to reiterate the message: Stay home, stay safe."

Photo by Graham Wilson/Actionplus/Icon Sportswire

1 comment about "European stars 'bring a stain on the whole industry of football' with shelter-in-place violations".
  1. R2 Dad, April 14, 2020 at 12:53 p.m.

    Not-so-fast, seems SF has their share of nit-wits as well: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/sf-bayview-illegal-nightclub-sfpd-15197085.php

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