WSL stars under fire for appearing to 'break Covid rules' as West Ham and Arsenal players jet off on luxury trips
24th December 2020

WOMEN’S Super League stars could be in for a Covid grilling after appearing to break Government rules by jetting off on luxury Christmas trips.

West Ham's Alisha Lehmann is in the Maldives with her partner Ramona Bachmann while Arsenal star Katie McCabe flew to Dubai.

All WSL players in Tier 4 areas – which included London – were warned by their clubs not to go away for the Christmas break – despite some not having seen their families since March because of Covid-19.

Those warnings were strictly reinforced after PM Boris Johnson’s announcement of the new Tier 4 on Saturday – which prohibits travel outside of those zones for reasons other than work.

But two WSL stars appear to have ignored the rules by flying out of the country.

Arsenal’s Irish international McCabe, 25, posted a picture on social media showing she was in Dubai on Monday.

And a video surfaced of West Ham’s Swiss striker Lehmann, 21, dancing outside an ocean-side villa in the Maldives on Wednesday.

The Switzerland international posted the footage to her TikTok set to Mariah Carey's 'All I want for Christmas is you' as the backing track.

And later in the day on Wednesday, Lehmann's partner – Paris Saint-Germain Women's star Bachmann, 29 – posted pictures of her boarding a flight to Male in the Maldives.

She captioned one snap: "On my way @AlishaLehmann7."

Lehmann and McCabe both posted exotic looking snaps on their Instagram stories which have now disappeared.

It is unclear when the players left the UK or whether their clubs were aware of their plans before their departure.

McCabe's partner – Ireland international and Leicester Women's Ruesha Littlejohn – also posted a snap from Dubai on Sunday.

McCabe was not in the shot but it was taken in the same location as the Arsenal star's post.

It is believed other London-based foreign players have also defied the instructions of their clubs and flown out of the UK for warmer climates.

Chelsea's Ji So-yun is believed to have travelled back to South Korea last weekend.

McCabe claimed she was in Dubai for a 'business meeting with her agent', according to the Telegraph.

Her brother is believed to be her agent and Arsenal are said to be disappointed as the post did not make clear she was on a 'business trip'.

But the club have accepted McCabe’s explanation and no disciplinary action is anticipated.

It remains unclear whether there was a 'business' element to Lehmann's trip with the Swiss having several commercial arrangements not related to West Ham.

The WSL does not resume until January 9 with plenty of players initially expected to head overseas to be reunited with their families at Christmas.

McCabe played for Arsenal in their 4-0 WSL win over Everton on Sunday.

But Lehmann was not in action as West Ham's game with Aston Villa was postponed after a Covid outbreak at the Hammers' Essex training base.

After the Everton victory Arsenal boss Joe Montemurro urged his players to 'follow Government guidelines'.

Of the 864 Covid-19 tests carried across the WSL and Women's Championship last week, 32 tests returned positive.

That figure accounts for nearly half the total number of positive tests recorded since testing began at the top end of the women's game on July 2.

SunSport have contacted Arsenal for comment.

A post shared by Alisha Lehmann (@alishalehmann7)

A post shared by Katie McCabe (@katie_mccabe11)

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