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Luka Jovic Apologises for Failing to Observe Serbia's Coronavirus Restrictions

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IIMarch 19, 2020

PAMPLONA, SPAIN - FEBRUARY 09: Luka Jovic of Real Madrid CF looks on during the Liga match between CA Osasuna and Real Madrid CF at El Sadar Stadium on February 09, 2020 in Pamplona, Spain. (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid striker Luka Jovic has apologised after breaking rules put in place in Serbia to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Jovic wrote on social media (h/t Miguel Angel Lara at Marca) that he travelled back to his homeland with the club's permission after testing negative for the coronavirus and wasn't informed of the restrictions in place in Serbia:

"Having seen the situation throughout the world and in our country is very difficult, like it has been for some time, I have to speak out and send support to everyone.

"Firstly, I'm very sorry to be the main talking point these days and I'm sorry that I'm the one constantly being written about and not those key protagonists who are fighting this crisis, who are the doctors and all those working in health.

"In Madrid, my COVID-19 test was negative, so I decided to travel to Serbia, to help and support our people as well as be close to my family, with the club's permission.

"Upon arriving in Serbia, I was tested and it came out negative. I'm very sorry that some people haven't done their job professionally and haven't given me concrete instructions on how to behave in my isolation.

"In Spain, you're allowed to go out to the supermarket or the pharmacy, which doesn't happen here. I want to apologise to everyone if I've done any sort of damage or put anyone in danger."

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Jovic has been criticised by the Serbian press for returning to the country despite appeals for citizens abroad to stay away and after being "spotted out and about" in Belgrade celebrating his girlfriend's birthday, according to AS.

Serbian authorities are reportedly investigating Jovic after an emergency law was been passed calling for "those returning from states battling the virus to self-isolate for up to 28 days," per AP Media (h/t Sky Sports).

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic has been critical of "known sportsmen" for flouting the rules and said "either they will respect the law, or they'll go to jail," per the report.

The Real Madrid football and basketball teams were placed in quarantine on March 12 after first-team basketball player Trey Thompkins tested positive for coronavirus.

Jovic joined Real Madrid from Eintracht Frankfurt on a six-year deal in June 2019 for a reported fee of €65 million plus add-ons.

However, the striker has struggled to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu, scoring just twice in 24 appearances in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane's side in 2019-20.

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