Bohemians admit 'error' over social media training video

Bohemians have admitted to an 'error' after footage circulated on social media of two small groups of the clubs’ players training at a public park in Dublin.
Bohemians admit 'error' over social media training video
In a statement, Bohemians FC said that players were training in groups of three, with one coach, since groups of four are allowed exercise under the current phase of the government plan. Pictured: Bohemians home ground, Dalymount Park, Dublin

Bohemians have confirmed they followed government, rather than FAI, advice in allowing players return to training in small groups.

Under the FAI’s roadmap for a safer return to football unveiled last month amid the easing of lockdown from Covid-19, June 8 was the date set allowing the four League of Ireland clubs participating in European competition to commence training.

The Gypsies, due to compete in Europe for the first time since 2012, have this evening reacted to social media footage.

The footage that appeared on Tuesday showed a video of two groups of players training in Fr Collins Park and a picture of head coach Keith Long working on drills with three players at a different public park.

The Bohemians statement admitted they breached FAI protocols on six occasions since May 18, putting into context why they ignored the advice issued by FAI medical director Dr Alan Byrne.

It read: "A video of Bohemians players exercising in a public park that has been circulated on social media has been brought to the attention of the club and we wish to clarify the circumstances.

"Compliant with [HSE] guidelines, Bohemians players have, since Monday May 18, on six separate days, met in groups of three in public parks around the city.

"These groups of players were assembled in a way that respects the 5km travel rule that remains in place, while strict measures, which can be seen below, were put in place to enable this to happen in a safe manner.

"These measures include players travelling to location on their own, players maintaining social-distancing, while procedures were put in place for the use and sanitisation of any equipment used.

"The video now in circulation shows two groups at Fr Collins Park in Donaghmede (Dublin).

"While it was an error to have two groups at the same venue at the same time, a distance of 20 metres was maintained between the two groups at all times.

"All club stakeholders involved have agreed that there will only be one group of three plus one coach per park/location until the FAI's agreed date for the club to return to collective training on Monday 8 June."

Initial Covid-19 tests of players and staff undertaken last week showed no positive results.

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