Leicester City boss Brendan Rogers found out that Maddison, Barnes and Hamza Choudhury were all flouting Covid-19 lockdown rules by attending a house party at their teammate Ayoze Perez’s £1.3 million home with around 18 other guests.
Rogers is said to have urged them to leave the party – but the four players decided to tell the party-goers to ‘hide’ before turning off the lights to make it appear like no one was home, reports The Sun.
Four Leicester football stars including James Maddison (pictured) and Harvey Barnes reportedly ‘hid in the dark’ after they were caught at a lockdown-flouting party by their manager
Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers found out that Maddison, Barnes and Hamza Choudhury were all flouting Covid-19 lockdown rules by attending a house party at their teammate Ayoze Perez’s £1.3 million home with around 18 other guests
Ayoze Perez (left) had been hosting the house party – and after the police attended the property, half of the guests has decided to catch taxis to Hamza Choudhury’s (right) home in Nottingham to continue the lockdown-flouting party
Police had attended Perez’s home in Leicester at around 12.20am last Sunday but took no action after the property was found in darkness.
But afterwards, half of the guests decided to catch taxis to Choudhury’s home in Nottingham, which is 30 miles away, at 1am to continue their lockdown-flouting party.
It comes after Rogers revealed he took the decision to rule Maddison, Perez and Choudhury out of Leicester’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham yesterday due to the Covid-19 breach last weekend. Meanwhile, Barnes has a knee injury and was not in the team.
The ‘bitterly disappointed’ manager said the trio had a lack of respect for Brits during the national lockdown.
Harvey Barnes also reportedly ‘hid in the dark’ after he was caught at a lockdown-flouting party
A source told the Sun: ‘Everyone was having a good time then suddenly the players said to each other “Look at your phone”.
‘They’d got a message from Brendan. He told them he knew what they were up to and to stop the party immediately.
‘They told everyone to hide and switch off all the lights so it looked like no one was home.’
Neighbours had claimed sports cars had parked along the street outside Perez’s home from 9pm and music had been blaring.
The invitees, who were mainly young women, were reportedly forced to put their phones in closed bags as they entered the party to stop footage being taken inside.
The source said: ‘Most guests were young women. They were all drinking and having a laugh then carried on at Hamza’s.’
It comes after Rogers revealed he took the decision to rule Maddison (pictured), Perez and Choudhury out of Leicester’s 3-2 defeat at West Ham yesterday due to the Covid-19 breach last weekend. Meanwhile, Barnes has a knee injury and was not in the team
One of Perez’s neighbours added: ‘I could see coloured lights at Ayoze’s house. He’d also closed his blinds. He doesn’t usually do that.’
The neighbour said the police left Perez’s property after finding it in darkness – but afterwards they heard some of the guests getting into taxis.
They continued: ‘We are City fans but this is just not acceptable. Why do they feel like they can do what they want just because they’re rich footballers?’
Rodgers said after Leicester’s loss to West Ham that his decision to not allow Maddison, Perez or Choudhury to play was to ‘punish’ them.
But he said they would not be fined for the breach and they are available for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final against Southampton
‘From a personal perspective I was bitterly disappointed,’ he said.
‘This is something bigger than football. You have to respect what the nation are going through and we have to respect what our values are within our club.
‘It would have been easy to have them here [for the game] but that’s not what we’re about.
‘My objective coming to Leicester was to create a standard on and off the pitch and this fell way below what we expect, especially at a time of the season when we are challenging.
‘The timing is not ideal but that is how strongly I felt. I decided not to [fine them]. The punishment was missing the game.
‘They knew what the consequence was and now we draw a line. They rejoin the squad and we prepare for next weekend.’
Sportsmail understands the three players were tested very soon after the breach was discovered, and were allowed to return to the training ground when they returned negative results – but Rodgers did not allow them to join the first-team squad last week.
A Leicester statement read: ‘The club has made its expectations around adherence to Covid-19 protocols abundantly clear to all its personnel.
‘It is extremely disappointing, therefore, to learn of a breach that had the potential to undermine the efforts of Club staff to protect the environments in which our teams train and play.’
Former midfielder Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports: ‘What it does to the team, the damage? They’re players you want on the pitch when you want the points.
‘It’s a nightmare scenario, the sooner it gets put to bed the better. You don’t want players misbehaving at a time like this, everyone knows its importance.’
Rumours surfaced on social media over the weekend that several Leicester City players broke coronavirus rules in the UK by attending a house party indoors.
BBC Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker tweeted: Very much hope these rumours that 5 @LCFC players were left out for going to a house party and breaking Covid rules are not true. I fear they probably are.’