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Rangers chief hits out at ‘totally unacceptable’ Covid-19 protocol breach by duo

Stewart Robertson file photo
(Image credit: Jeff Holmes)

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson described as “totally unacceptable” the breach of Covid-19 protocol by Jordan Jones and George Edmundson.

The Ibrox duo have been suspended by the club after “attending a private gathering” on Sunday “with others outside their household” and will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Jones and Edmundson, neither of whom were involved in Rangers’ 1-0 Premiership win over Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Sunday, will be subject to an internal investigation.

Robertson told the club’s official website: “The chairman Douglas Park, Ross Wilson, Steven Gerrard and I discussed this matter as soon as it was brought to our attention.

“We are completely aligned in our action and the standards that are being set at Rangers.

“We will not tolerate behaviour that does not follow those standards and it is totally unacceptable for any of our players to be involved in anything that puts at risk the excellent protocols that have been put in place at Rangers.”

A statement on Rangers’ official website read: “Rangers have been made aware of an incident last night involving two of our players, Jordan Jones and George Edmundson.

“Both players breached covid regulations by attending a private gathering with others outside of their household.

Motherwell v Rangers – Scottish Premiership – Fir Park

Jordan Jones must self-isolate for 14 days (Jeff Holmes/PA)

“We can confirm that both players will be suspended pending an internal investigation.

“On the instruction of Dr Mark Waller, the players will also self-isolate for 14 days.”

Rangers travel to Lisbon this week for their Europa League group game against Benfica on Thursday then host Hamilton in the Premiership on Sunday before the international break.

Jones, who signed from Kilmarnock in 2019, has been a bit-part player at Ibrox this season and last featured as a late substitute against Livingston on October 25.

Rangers v Hamilton Academical – Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership – Ibrox Stadium

George Edmundson also breached coronavirus protocols (Jeff Holmes/PA)

The 26-year-old attacker had been expected to be in the Northern Ireland squad for the Euro 2020 play-off final against Slovakia in Belfast on November 12, but will now not feature due to his self-isolation period and he has work to do to win his national boss Ian Baraclough back over.

“I have spoken to Jordan today and made my feelings on the matter clear to him,” Baraclough said in a statement.

“This team has a responsibility to show leadership not only on the field, but off it too. It is something we have discussed many times.

“Jordan is a talented young player who has a lot to offer Northern Irish football. Unfortunately he has made the wrong decision in a period where we all need to look out for the safety of others, as well as ourselves.

“Jordan will not be included in my squad for the upcoming international window and hopefully he will learn from this incident.”

Defender Edmundson, 23, who signed from Oldham in June, 2019, has played only twice this season with his last appearance against Motherwell in September when he came on a second-half substitute.

The Scottish Government later commended the Ibrox club for their “swift and decisive action”.

A Government spokesperson said: “The return to training and match protocols mandate strict adherence to all Government guidance in place, including on gatherings and physical distancing.

“Players maintain the sporting bubble by not compromising any of these things when away from the heavily regulated training or match environment, and we expect clubs and their staff and players to fulfil their responsibilities and apply all of these measures rigorously.

“We commend Rangers for taking such swift and decisive action in this instance, to protect the rest of their squad and the wider public.”