Benjamin Mendy: Pep Guardiola defends full-back after Covid breach

Man City to investigate report in The Sun newspaper; Mendy an unused sub at Stamford Bridge on Sunday; Guardiola: "Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don't judge him too much. Maybe many people have done the same."

Benjamin Mendy 0:37
Pep Guardiola has warned critics of Benjamin Mendy against being hypocritical, as City hold an internal investigation after the defender broke coronavirus rules by inviting people from outside his household to a New Year's Eve party

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has defended Benjamin Mendy after the full-back apparently breached coronavirus restrictions on New Year's Eve.

City are to hold an internal investigation after The Sun reported that Mendy allowed a chef and two friends of his partner to attend his Cheshire home, despite regulations which prevent people from different households mixing indoors.

Mendy was an unused substitute on Sunday as City were 3-1 winners at Chelsea.

Asked if he had considered leaving out Mendy, Guardiola said: "No, he's part of the group, he's one of the good guys. It must be love in our group.

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"He's a special guy for all of us, he has an incredible heart. I would like to see how many people judge him, if they have the good intentions he has.

"It would be better if, before we judge others, we judge ourselves. I'm not justifying that, he broke the rules. But don't give too many lessons to others.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola
Image: Pep Guardiola does not think footballers should be held to higher standards than other members of society

"Of course it was not correct what he has done, but don't judge him too much. Maybe many people have done the same. It's easy to judge others.

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"If everyone put those intentions aside, maybe it would be better."

Guardiola says that, as far as he is concerned, it is time to draw a line under Mendy's mistake.

And, when asked if footballers must be held to higher standards as role models, he said: "I would not agree with this.

"The only exception is we do our job. We appear more in social media and interviews, but that's it.

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"I don't think footballers are more important than doctors, architect or teachers for my kids. So, they only have the same responsibility as everyone else in the world.

"Mendy knows he made a big mistake, but it finishes here."

A City spokesman said: "The club is aware of a New Year's Eve Covid-19 breach involving Benjamin Mendy and the subsequent media reporting of it.

"While it is understood that elements of this incident have been misinterpreted in the reports, and that the player has publicly apologised for his error, the club is disappointed to learn of the transgression and will be conducting an internal investigation."

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