Luka Milivojevic’s New Year’s gathering with Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic does our club’s image ‘no good’, says Crystal Palace boss Hodgson

BY SAM SMITH

Luka Milivojevic risked harming the image of Crystal Palace Football Club by breaking coronavirus rules to party with Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic on New Year’s Eve, Roy Hodgson has said.

The Serbian pair were filmed celebrating the turn of the year in London with several other individuals. Videos were uploaded to the Instagram account of Mitrovic’s long-term partner but have since been deleted.

London is under tier four coronavirus restrictions, which ban more than one household mixing indoors.

Palace boss Hodgson has condemned the incident and has confirmed that it will be dealt with internally. Eagles captain Milivojevic has since tested negative for the virus in the latest round of Premier League testing.

“I haven’t seen the images that you’re talking about. I know about it and obviously we condemn it,” Hodgson told Sky Sports.

“We’re very upset about it. It doesn’t do the image of the club, nor Luka’s image, any good. But we will take responsibility for it as a club, as I expect Luka to take responsibility for it.

Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic during the pre-match warm up prior to the beginning of the Premier League match at the King Power Stadium, Leicester.

“He hasn’t broken Premier League protocols, per se, because he is negative and I believe the other player involved was negative as well. But that doesn’t matter. The fact is there are guidelines and these guidelines are there for the whole world to follow.

“When high profile people, like footballers, break those rules and guidelines then it is a matter of concern and we will deal with it internally.”

Milivojevic started Palace’s 2-0 win against Sheffield United today. Hodgson did not feel that he would be putting anyone at risk due to his recent negative test.

The 29-year-old has also apologised for his actions.

Hodgson continued: “We know we didn’t put the other team at risk because he’s been cleared by the Premier League protocols to play. He’s negative.

“And we also know that the other player who was with him has tested negative. So there are no questions of us feeling that we were putting the other team at risk.

“There’s no question of risk here on this pitch, but there is of course risk when people break government guidelines with regard to other people in the population. Most importantly of all, if other people are not breaking the rules, we expect football players not to break them.”

Milivojevic tested positive for coronavirus in November while on international duty with Serbia.


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