‘If you’re tough on players, then do the same for government officials who broke rules too’: David Moyes launches staunch defence of footballers amid calls for tough punishments over Covid-19 breachesDavid Moyes has launched a staunch defence of rule-breaking footballers A number of players, including Manuel Lanzini, have broken Covid-19 rules However, the West Ham boss says players are at risk of being targeted unfairlyLanzini, 27, donated to a local foodbank after being caught at a party 

West Ham boss David Moyes has defended footballers amid calls for tougher punishments over Covid-19 breaches.

Hammers midfielder Manuel Lanzini has apologised and made a donation to an east London foodbank after breaking coronavirus protocols over Christmas, but his manager insists players are in danger of being targeted unfairly.

Moyes said: ‘Well, if you are going to take tough measures on players, then you might as well take on the Government people as well who have broken the rules because it’s certainly not just football players who have done it.

David Moyes has defended rule-breaking footballers amid calls for tougher punishments

West Ham star Manuel Lanzini (pictured) broke coronavirus rules over the Christmas period

‘You have got to be careful. A lot of people are throwing stones in glass houses at the moment regarding this. We all know what the protocols are, we all know we have to be ever-vigilant and make sure we’re doing the right things.’

Moyes added: ‘But we can all make mistakes as well. Manuel Lanzini understood he made a mistake, he has apologised for it, he’s made a donation to the foodbanks for what he’s done and I think it was a really good gesture.

‘But you’ve got to be careful. There are a lot of people out there who are claiming that things should be different and I think the players are doing a remarkable job to keep football going, keep them playing.

Manuel Lanzini has donated to a London foodbank in response to breaking Covid-19 rules

‘Now and again, they will make mistakes, there’s no doubt about that.’

Moyes’ comments came a day after Newcastle counterpart Steve Bruce questioned the morality of continuing to play amid rising case numbers in both football and society in general.

The Scot said: ‘I’ve got a lot of agreement with what Steve has said, but my real feeling is that football is playing such a big part in a lot of people’s lives.

Moyes says that players are at risk of being target unfairly over rule breaks by fans and pundits

‘Unfortunately everybody’s at home at the moment, we’re in lockdown and I think the football is helping many people.

‘We chose to come back last year, we thought it was the right thing to do to get football back and from that point of view, I’m happy football is back.

‘But we have to remember that the players are the ones taking risks every week. They continue playing, they have to go back to their families, so we have to say that the players are the ones out there who are taking a lot of risks.’

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