Manchester City and England defender Kyle Walker says he feels he is “being harassed” after it was reported he had broken social distancing rules again.
Walker, 29, confirmed he went to Sheffield to see his sister on Wednesday to give her a birthday present and hugged her.
He then admitted he travelled to his parent’s house to “pick up some home-cooked meals”.
City will not take any disciplinary action against Walker.
The Premier League club feel there were some personal circumstances surrounding his trip which provide important context.
The player is already facing disciplinary action from City for a lockdown breach in early April.
Walker was reported to have hosted a party involving two sex workers and City said the right-back’s actions had “directly contravened” his responsibility as a role model.
The defender apologised and urged people to “stay home, stay safe” during the coronavirus pandemic.
On Thursday, the Sun reported Walker broke lockdown three times in 24 hours this week with visits to his sister, his parents and a cycle ride with a friend.
Walker responded in the early hours of Friday with a social media post explaining his actions. He said the reports were affecting his and his family’s mental health, adding: “At what stage do my feelings get taken into consideration?”
The government has put social distancing restrictions in place to combat coronavirus. According to the latest figures, 30,615 people in the UK have died with coronavirus in hospitals, care homes and the wider community.
“I have recently gone through one of the toughest periods of my life, which I take full responsibility for,” Walker said.
“However, I now feel as though I am being harassed. This is no longer solely affecting me, but affecting the health of my family and my young children too.”
He added: “At a time when the focus is understandably on Covid-19, at what point does mental health get taken into consideration?
“I am a human being, with feelings of pain and upset like everybody else. Being in the public eye does not make you immune to this.
“It is sad, but I feel as though my life is being scrutinised without any context.
“I understand if people are upset or angry with me, but it was important for people to have a better understanding of my life.”
Footballers to have breached lockdown guidelines
- Everton striker Moise Kean is set to be disciplined by the club after being filmed at a house party.
- Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish was pictured at the scene of a car crash, after going to “see a friend”. He apologised and said he was “deeply embarrassed”.
- Tottenham’s Serge Aurier and Moussa Sissoko apologised for training together despite the coronavirus restrictions.
- Spurs manager Jose Mourinho “accepted his actions were not in line with protocol” after being pictured holding a one-on-one training session in a park with midfielder Tanguy Ndombele.
- Arsenal spoke to all their players after Alexandre Lacazette, David Luiz, Nicolas Pepe and Granit Xhaka were pictured breaking social distancing guidelines.
- Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount was pictured having a kickabout with West Ham’s Declan Rice despite Mount testing positive for coronavirus and being told to self-isolate for 14 days.