Messi, Barca team-mates in trouble for major Covid breach

Madrid, May 4 (IANS): Barcelona legend Lionel Messi could be in trouble after he hosted a meal for his team-mates at his house ahead of the La Liga match against Atletico Madrid on Saturday. The Catalan regional health authorities say the Argentinian could have breached Covid-19 protocols, leaving Messi and his team-mates open to hefty fines.

Although the Barcelona players and coaching staff are in a 'work bubble' and club sources consider the meal to have been work related, the fact that the players' partners also attended the meal means the bubble was not respected, reports Xinhua.

Health protocols in place for the Catalan region of Spain limit the number of people present at social gatherings to just six, and even though the meal was served in the open with diners divided into groups of six, more than 30 people were present.

Meritxell Budo, the Council for the Presidency at the Catalan regional authority said that, "We know what happened and we have seen the images (of the get-together). The Public Health Agency is responsible for this, they have also seen the images and they will make a technical evaluation in the coming days and tell us how to proceed."

Meanwhile, Pepe Aragones, the acting regional president, said: "We will have to see if we have to take further action. There is an established process and an established procedure.

"I want to make an appeal to everyone, not just to comply with the measures, but for people in positions of public responsibility to do so in an even more intense way, because they are setting an example," he added.



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