Pep Guardiola criticised for backing Benjamin Mendy after New Year Covid rule breach 8 months ago

Pep Guardiola criticised for backing Benjamin Mendy after New Year Covid rule breach

Guardiola urged those judging Mendy to look at their own actions

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has been criticised for his quotes regarding Benjamin Mendy's breach of Covid regulations on New Years Eve.

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City confirmed over the weekend that Mendy would be the subject of an internal investigation after reports he held a party at his Cheshire home on New Years Eve. He is understood to have invited two friends and a chef to his house, despite the fact mixing of households is not currently permitted where he lives, which is classified as a Tier 4 area.

Despite this, the defender was named on the bench for City's 3-1 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Speaking after the game, Guardiola appeared to defend his player, urging others to look at their own actions throughout the pandemic instead of judging his.

"Benjamin already had Covid in the past, he has been tested every day like all the other players," Guardiola said. "He has explained, he knows what he has done and he will learn in the future.

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"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 player. 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 ourselves.

"I’m not justifying it, he broke the rules. But don’t give too many lessons to the others."

Guardiola's support for Mendy received criticism from  many of those who heard it:

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City will now turn their attentions to the League Cup, where they will look to reach another final in Wednesday's semi-final against Manchester United at Old Trafford.