Don’t ruin my Olympic dream! British track athlete Emily Diamond fears Covidiot footballers breaking lockdown rules could lead to elite sport exemption being removed after group celebrations and ill-advised visits to Dubai caused virus spike
- Elite athletes have been granted exemptions from Covid rules to train and compete during the ongoing lockdown
- But these privileges have come under scrutiny after several recent breaches
- Footballers celebrating in groups on the pitch and in dressing rooms was a feature of the FA Cup third round weekend
- There was a Covid outbreak at Celtic following a training camp visit to Dubai
- British track athlete Emily Diamond has urged sports stars not to break rules
British athlete Emily Diamond has urged Covidiot footballers not to ruin her Olympic chances.
Elite athletes have been granted special dispensation to train and compete during the coronavirus lockdown.
But this privilege has come under increased scrutiny in recent days after pictures emerged of teams celebrating in groups on the field and in dressing rooms over the FA Cup third round weekend.
Retweeting a video of Chorley players celebrating their FA Cup win over Derby, British track athlete Emily Diamond urged footballers not to abuse elite sport exemptions
Diamond (second left) won bronze in the 4 x 400 metre relay at the Rio Olympics in 2016
Sheffield United players celebrate in a group during their win over Newcastle on Tuesday
Crawley Town celebrated on and off the pitch after their win over Leeds United in the FA Cup
Scottish champions Celtic were also criticised after a training camp in Dubai that has resulted in a major Covid outbreak, while several Women’s Super League matches were postponed after several players from different clubs also went to Dubai.
The United Arab Emirates has since been removed from the UK government’s travel corridor list.
Diamond pictured at a training camp in Japan in May last year – the runner is hoping to medal at the Tokyo Olympics
And Diamond, a 200 and 400m runner who won bronze in the relay at the Rio Olympics, is concerned breaches of Covid rules could make her preparations for the Tokyo Games more difficult.
Diamond retweeted a video of Chorley players celebrating their FA Cup win over Derby County on Saturday and wrote: ‘Please don’t ruin it for all elite sport, football.’
And she told the BBC: ‘It would be a shame if these minority videos stop it then for everyone.
Chorley players celebrated their win over Derby by singing Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ in a packed dressing room at Victory Park
Relieved Chelsea players got close during the FA Cup victory over Morecambe after a bad run
‘I didn’t mean to put all the emphasis on football but I think because football obviously is such a big sport in the country and it’s got such a massive fanbase and it gets most of the headlines.
‘I just wanted everyone who has been given that elite sport exemption to just not take that for granted and to not ruin it for the sportspeople out there who aren’t taking it for granted and are being super strict with what they’re doing.
‘Yes, you can still go to the track or still go to the gym or football pitch to train and have your match but once that is done you are back to non-elite and the guidelines and the lockdown.’
Diamond is herself currently on a British Athletics training camp in the UAE. All the athletes tested negative for the virus in the latest set of tests.