QPR at fault for allowing Crystal Palace’s Ebere Eze to attend FA Cup tie

Crystal Palace winger Eze was allowed to sit in the directors’ box at Loftus Road to watch his former club despite the current ban on fans and the national lockdown.

The Football Association is understood to be looking into the incident which seems to be the latest in a string of footballers breaching Covid-19 protocols.

“We know the situation that society is facing in this country, we are all very aware of it,” said Warburton at a pre-match press conference.

“QPR as a club have stringent protocols in place that we apply very strongly to every single player and staff member.

“On this occasion we should have declined the request. It’s as simple as that. We made the error.

“Eberechi is an outstanding character. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He made a request, we should have said no.

“On this rare occasion we have made a mistake, it’s as plain and simple as that. It will not happen again.”

Eze, who joined Palace from Rangers for around £20million in the summer, was pictured not wearing a mask as he sat in the stands.

Palace have so far declined to comment but Eagles boss Roy Hodgson said last week that no further breaches of Government guidelines by his players will be accepted after Luka Milivojevic broke the rules on New Year’s Eve.

Palace captain Milivojevic issued an apology after his household mixed with Fulham forward Aleksandar Mitrovic and his family.

There were further breaches of the regulations over the festive period involving Tottenham, West Ham and Manchester City players.

Norwich City sign West Ham striker Jordan Hugill

The 28-year-old, who spent last season on loan at Championship side QPR, has signed a three-year deal at Carrow Road.

He leaves the Hammers after just three substitute appearances and 12 minutes of playing time in total following a £10m move from Preston North End in 2018.

Speaking to the club’s official website, Hugill said:

“Soon as I knew they were interested in taking me, it was a decision that I wanted to make quickly. To come here is brilliant for me and my family to get settled again, and hit the ground running.”

Crystal Palace’s Eberechi Eze bid rejected by QPR

Eze has impressed for QPR in the Championship this season, with Palace amongst a host of clubs expressing an interest in the forward.

The 22-year-old bagged 14 goals in English football’s second tier last term, but the Eagles’ alleged £12m offer for Eze was rebuffed by QPR on Monday.

The West London side are said to be wanting closer to £20m for the player, although it’s understood £16m may be enough to secure Eze’s services.

Roy Hodgson faces competition from fellow Premier League sides West Ham and West Brom in the race for the England U21 international, who may be considered a replacement for Wilfried Zaha should the Ivorian leave Selhurst Park this summer.

Crystal Palace tracking QPR forward Eberechi Eze

The Eagles ended their 2019-20 Premier League campaign in 14th place, with a 1-1 draw with Tottenham at Selhurst Park ending a wretched run of 7 consecutive league defeats.

Roy Hodgson’s side scored the second-fewest goals in the Premier League this season, with only Norwich City – relegated in bottom place – having a worse strike rate.

There is a need therefore for Hodgson to freshen up his attack, as a lack of goals combined with an ageing squad is a cause for concern amongst Crystal Palace supporters.

Palace’s reported interest in 22-year-old Eberechi Eze from QPR will no doubt perk up some of those dubious Eagles fans, with the forward having bagged 14 goals in all competitions for the West London outfit this season.

West Ham United are also said to be keen on the England U21 international, but it’s understood Crystal Palace are in pole position over a possible switch.