QPR boss Warburton: We made error allowing Palace midfielder Eze to attend FA Cup tie

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Mark Warburton says QPR must take the blame for allowing Ebere Eze to attend Saturday’s FA Cup derby against Fulham.

The FA are investigating the Crystal Palace attacker being in the directors’ box at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.

Eze was pictured not wearing a face covering as he watched his former club lose 2-0 after extra time.

Palace captain Luka Milivojevic has already issued an apology last week for breaching Covid-19 rules by meeting Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic on New Year’s Eve.

Warburton said: “We know the situation that society is facing in this country – we’re all aware of it. QPR have stringent protocols in place that we apply very strongly.

“On this occasion we should’ve declined the request – simple as that.

“We made the error. Ebere is an outstanding character. I cannot speak highly enough for him. He made the request, we should have said no.

“[He was only aware the player was there] when I was grilled in the post-match press conference on Saturday.

“I believe he was at a game back in October and a game back in August. He is very close to several members of the squad and the staff – such is his character.

“We should have politely rejected the request. It was a mistake and it will not happen again.

“Our record here amongst the playing squad is exemplary – in terms of testing and results as well.”

Warburton has echoed the sentiments of Newcastle manager Steve Bruce, who recently called for football to shut down due to the significant increase in cases of Covid-19 in the country.

The Rangers chief said: “We love the game and want it to go ahead – we’re very priviliged – but with the death figures and infections at the level they are, and set to rise in the next couple of weeks, I do agree with Steve Bruce.

“We face a moral dilemma and we have to be very careful.

“When you look at schools being closed and potential further announcements today then you have to ask yourself the question – does football carry on irrespective of that.

“A four-week circuit break, for so many reasons, sends out the right message.”

 


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