Hertha Berlin defender, Dedryck Boyata, has denied kissing his teammate Marko Grujic after he was photographed in close proximity with Grujic during Hertha Berlin’s 3-0 win against Hoffenheim over the weekend.
Over the weekend, the Bundesliga became the first major European league to resume since the suspension of the 2019-20 season in March due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
New rules such as substitutes wearing masks and sitting significant distances away from each other, and social distancing during celebrations were carried out, but Boyata after a goal appeared to kiss Grujic on the cheek.
After receiving criticism, he has now defended himself, saying he was giving his teammate an instruction.
“It wasn’t a kiss, neither a celebration,” he wrote accompanied by a video of the incident. “I apologise for putting my hands on @grujicmarko face. I was giving him instructions about a set-piece.’ Boyata posted on his Instagram live..
“We must definitely be careful now that we play under this situation. We have to adapt our way to play or celebrate.”
The German Football League (DFL) has now reacted to the incident especially as another team Borussia Monchengladbach were involved in another controversy as players hugged after scoring twice early in their 3-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt during the weekend.
The DFL said it will not penalise players for celebrating, but state minister for Bavaria Markus Soder said rules must be enforced.
“Football has an extreme function to be a role model, so we should stick to our instructions and pay attention to it next week,” he told Sport 1. “The players must also obey the rules.”