James Maddison, Ayoze Perez and Hamza Choudhury were dropped for Leicester City's game against West Ham on Sunday after breaching coronavirus guidelines concerning squad bubbles.
The trio were conspicuously absent when the matchday squad was announced for what was Leicester's biggest game of the season so far.
Then, with the Foxes 2-0 down thanks to a Jesse Lingard brace, the Sun broke the story that the trio had been omitted due to a breach of Covid-19 rules. Harvey Barnes is also said to have been involved, although he is currently recovering from an injury and would not have played against the Hammers anyway.
A statement from the club read: "The club has made its expectations around adherence to Covid-19 protocols abundantly clear to all its personnel.
"It is extremely disappointing, therefore, to learn of a breach that had the potential to undermine the efforts of club staff to protect the environments in which our teams train and play. Appropriate measures have been taken to prevent our team bubbles being compromised.
"We wholly expect our people to behave in a way that reflects the national effort and the sacrifices made by our communities to control the spread of the virus. Those involved have apologised for their poor judgement. Our response to the matter will be concluded internally."
When asked about the three players' absences before kick off Brendan Rodgers was coy in his response, indicating that they were not available for the fixture but would be back in contention for Leicester's FA Cup semi-final against Southampton next Sunday.
Both Maddison and Perez have only recently returned to the side following injury, while Choudhury has been a bit-part player all season mainly being used as a substitute. The breach will have frustrated Rodgers as Leicester will need to be fully focussed for the Premier League run-in.
Source : 90min