Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro said his players who traveled to Dubai “understand the impact of their actions” but said he would leave it up to “big Arsenal” to decide whether they should issue a public apology.
Montemurro spoke for the first time since Sport Telegraph revealed last week that three of Arsenal’s players traveled to the United Arab Emirates during the Women’s Super League Christmas break and that one of them subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.
The players, who the club say traveled for ‘business’ reasons, apologized to their teammates, after the number of players who had to self-isolate last week meant the match was canceled Arsenal versus Aston Villa.
Several players from other WSL clubs also traveled to Dubai over Christmas, including four from Manchester City who later tested positive for Covid-19, while Manchester United boss Casey Stoney apologized last Friday for ‘allowing some of his own players to leave.
Montemurro, whose players were living under level 4 government coronavirus restrictions at the time, said Thursday: “There is obviously disappointment with the situation and the way it has unfolded. From my perspective, this is the moral compass and the consequences of these situations. The players apologized for their actions.
“We’ve dealt with it from Arsenal’s perspective internally, and for me the really important thing, getting back to the morality of making these decisions when you’re faced with it, is that it doesn’t happen again. It’s all about actions now.
“It’s about making sure that these actors understand, in these situations and in these circumstances, that they are role models, that they are people who are in the public eye and that we will not be able to tolerate this kind of. decisions, not just from a sporting point of view but from an overall moral point of view.
When asked if his players should publicly apologize to the fans, Montemurro replied: “I’m going to have to leave that to the great Arsenal. I’m going to have to leave that to Arsenal to make this decision from a personal and fan perspective.
“They [the players] understand their actions. We treated him in a way that we think is fair.
Asked if the players would be subject to penalties, Montemurro replied: “We have taken it back internally.”
He added that he “totally understood” the reactions of the fans, but said there were gray areas, adding: “Are some things, clear and simple, wrong? Yes they are. Some things are. Are they a little gray? Yes, they are.
“We can’t change what happened in hindsight, all we can do is make sure there is a real understanding of what happened and a real understanding in the future. , that these things do not happen again.
The Australian coach added that “different emotions were flying at the start”, within the rest of his squad, but when asked about the unity of the team, replied: “We had a good discussion internally, we understood the situations we have dealt with.with the current situation we have dealt with the seriousness of some things, and in all aspects as I said before there is no right or wrong. look at all aspects. “
The WSL third-placed Montemurro team travel to Reading on Sunday. Arsenal are four points behind leaders Manchester United with 12 games to go this quarter.