Readers Letters: Footballers should stop their hugging

I have not been able to either see or hug my 99-year-old father for a year now because of covid-19 restrictions.

Phil Foden of Manchester City is congratulated by teammate John Stones after scoring on January 13

I cannot describe the sadness and frustration that this has caused. So, imagine my anger and disbelief when I see professional footballers ignoring the covid medical rule not to hug and then listen to them and their managers say that it is because they are unable to control their emotions after scoring a goal. Who on earth do they think they are that during such a serious and deadly pandemic, when people are losing loved ones daily, thousands losing their jobs, children's education being devastated and everyone being required to change their whole lifestyle that they feel that such a pathetic excuse of not being able to control their emotions after scoring a goal is anywhere near an excuse? There appears to be no acceptance that they are role models and that they have a moral responsibility to set an example.

There are daily reports of people being fined and arrested for flouting covid rules, so why has nothing been done about this blatant disregard of restrictions? The sports ministers of all UK governments and administrations have ignored this and passed the problem to the football authorities who have been totally ineffective. It is time for the authorities to take a stand as there have been numerous warnings about not hugging. Now is the time for every player who breaks this rule to be issued with a penalty notice by the police. However, as these prima-donnas are paid obscene amounts of money I will assume that a fine will not be a sufficient deterrent. I would also suggest that any disregard of the no hugging rule should be considered a red card offence for every player involved. I am sure that club authorities and managers would soon ensure compliance.

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Leicester City players and manager have shown that respect of and compliance of the rules is possible. Players and managers could also benefit from watching one of the world's greatest footballers, Eusebio, whose no fuss reaction to scoring a goal was to pick up the ball from the net and take it back to the centre circle.

Paul Lewis, 99 Guardwell Crescent, Edinburgh

Shocking statistics

Scotland has recorded the highest number of peacetime deaths since 1891 – yet many believe Nicola Sturgeon’s management of the pandemic is first rate. For some dyed-in-the-wool nationalists, seemingly it's enough that our shocking death rate is marginally less appalling than England's. The nationalist leader has been front and centre of managing the entirely devolved response to Covid-19 – and Scotland proportionally has one of the worst coronavirus death rates in the world, particularly for a small, thinly populated country. Are self-assured TV appearances really what matters at times such as these?

Martin Redfern, Melrose, Roxburghshire

Simple pleasures?

I read with shock that Ian Blackford, MP for Ross and SNP leader at Westminster, has collected over £256,000 in expenses this year, recently buying his wife a Land Rover, yet still proclaims that he is a “simple ten-acre crofter”. I have never met a “10-acre crofter” who can afford such things.

If you read the full article you will see that It seems he has managed to acquire more than a quarter of a million pounds in Westminister expenses. How on earth is he going to manage if, by his own hands, he no longer works in Westminster? Does he move on to fleecing the Scottish parliament instead?

This man is a disgrace to politics and Scotland and should be banished to somewhere that deserves him. Maybe a small ten-acre croft in the Outer Hebrides where he can tend his sheep.

Valerie Stewart, Stobo, Calderwood, East Kilbride

Taxis U-turn

The Scottish Government have demonstrated again how nimble they are at performing U-turns around the rules for taxi drivers to claim support when they are in receipt of Universal Benefit.

The SNP administration may be guilty of a catalogue of failures to govern Scotland but when it comes to "U" turns they are very slick.

Dennis Forbes Grattan, Mugiemoss Road, Bucksburn, Aberdeen