NI’s Jordan Jones ‘made wrong decision’ on Covid breach

Jordan Jones won't feature for NI against Slovakia. Credit: INPHO

Northern Ireland boss Ian Baraclough has confirmed Rangers player Jordan Jones will not be included in his squad for their upcoming Euro play-off final game after breaching Covid-19 rules.

Jones and Rangers teammate George Edmundson have been suspended by their club side after attending a private party and both are isolating for 14 days as a result of their actions.

On Friday evening, Baraclough said he had spoken to the 26-year-old winger and “made my feelings on the matter clear”.

In a statement, the manager outlined his expectations on his team’s responsibility to show leadership on and off the pitch.

“Jordan is a talented young player who has a lot to offer Northern Irish football,” he said.

“Unfortunately, he has made the wrong decision in a period where we all need to look out for the safety of others, as well as ourselves.

“Jordan will not be included in my squad for the upcoming international window and hopefully he will learn from this incident.”

Northern Ireland are due to play Slovakia on Thursday 12 November.

This team has a responsibility to show leadership not only on the field, but off it too. It is something we have discussed many times.

Ian Baraclough

Meanwhile, Rangers have said Jones and Edmundson will face an internal investigation.

Managing director Stewart Robertson described the breach as “totally unacceptable”, telling the club’s official website: “The chairman Douglas Park, Ross Wilson, Steven Gerrard and I discussed this matter as soon as it was brought to our attention.

“We are completely aligned in our action and the standards that are being set at Rangers.

“We will not tolerate behaviour that does not follow those standards and it is totally unacceptable for any of our players to be involved in anything that puts at risk the excellent protocols that have been put in place at Rangers.”

The Scottish Government has commended the Ibrox club for their “swift and decisive action”.

A Government spokesperson said: “The return to training and match protocols mandate strict adherence to all Government guidance in place, including on gatherings and physical distancing.

“Players maintain the sporting bubble by not compromising any of these things when away from the heavily regulated training or match environment, and we expect clubs and their staff and players to fulfil their responsibilities and apply all of these measures rigorously.

“We commend Rangers for taking such swift and decisive action in this instance, to protect the rest of their squad and the wider public.”