Hertha Berlin have suspended Salomon Kalou with immediate effect after he filmed himself breaking hygiene rules and singing a song about COVID-19.
At 34 Kalou is one of Hertha’s most experienced players, yet he courted controversy today as he posted a video of him flouting strict coronavirus regulation.
The clip saw him fist-bump teammates, barge in on a colleague’s swab test and complain about a pay cut, while singing a ‘corona song’ poking fun at the contagion.
“I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I’m not taking coronavirus seriously,” the ex-Chelsea forward told the club’s official website.
“I want to apologise for this. The reality is the exact opposite because I’m really worried about the people of Africa, because health systems aren’t as good there as they are in Germany.
“I didn’t really think it through and was excited that my tests came back negative.
“I would also like to apologise to all those who appeared in the video, who didn’t know that I was broadcasting live and whom I didn’t want to bring into this situation.”
General manager Michael Preetz added: “With his video, Salomon Kalou has not only done a great deal of damage to Hertha BSC, but also created the impression that individual players are not taking the issue of coronavirus seriously, in a time of great discussion on the resumption of football and the role of the professional game.
“I would like to emphasise that we continue to notify all those involved of guidelines on hygiene and social distancing and make them aware of consequent compliance.
“We’re clearly following the requirements of the health authorities responsible for us, as well as the recommendations of the RKI [Robert Koch Institute for public health in Germany].
“Hertha BSC deeply regret the behaviour of Salomon Kalou, especially since he is a player as decorated as he is experienced.
“However, the extent of this misconduct requires consequential action.”
— Hertha Berlin (@HerthaBSC_EN) May 4, 2020
A statement on the Bundesliga side’s official website added Kalou had been ‘suspended from training and matches with immediate effect’.
It was also announced today that there were 10 new cases of coronavirus in Germany’s top two divisions.