Crystal Palace captain Luka Milivojevic says he let the club down after breaching the Government’s coronavirus guidelines on New Year’s Eve.
Pictures emerged on social media which showed the Serbia international with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic along with their two families on December 31.
With London in Tier 4 and household mixing not allowed, both broke Government guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.
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In a statement on Wednesday, Milivojevic said: “I want to publicly apologise for my actions on New Year’s Eve. As captain of Crystal Palace Football Club I am fully aware that my responsibilities go beyond football, and that in this instance, I have let the fans, the club, my manager and teammates down.
“In what is a really difficult and challenging moment for everyone, I am truly grateful that I am able to continue to do the job I love and I do not take this for granted.
“I am very sorry to anyone who has been made to feel angry, hurt or upset by my actions.
“I am making a donation to the local NHS service to help them continue their incredible work in our community fighting this virus.”
While disappointed with his skipper, Palace boss Roy Hodgson defended his decision to play Milivojevic in the 2-0 win over Sheffield United on January 2, after the midfielder returned negative tests for Covid-19.
“In that respect we weren’t concerned about breaching any Premier League protocols and therefore I think it was correct Luka played the game,” Hodgson said.
“It was a question of him in his household having his fellow Serb Mitrovic round to join them, so that is a clear breach of coronavirus rules.
“We condemn it, we certainly apologise for it and I am sure Luka will as well. As far as I am concerned he must take full responsibility for that.
“It is an internal matter that we will deal with but as far as I am concerned there is nothing positive I can say on the matter.”
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