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Friday 23 February 2018

Lingard apologises over ill-timed tweet

Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard
Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard

Jesse Lingard has apologised for a "totally unacceptable" Twitter post that the midfielder claims was sent by his media team during the Munich memorial service - an explanation Manchester United are understood to accept.

Tuesday marked the 60th anniversary of the air disaster that killed 23 people as United's plane crashed on the way back from a European Cup tie at Red Star Belgrade in 1958.

United stars past and present, along with 4,500 fans, attended a ceremony at Old Trafford to pay their respects, with the ground falling silent at 3.04pm - the time of the devastating crash 60 years earlier.

But at 3.07pm, as the service continued, a reply was sent from Lingard's official Twitter account to a message about a game of FIFA, leading to an online backlash.

The England midfielder is said to have been angered by the situation and issued a statement blaming a member of his "media team" for the post - an explanation the club are understood to accept given cameras were trained on the players throughout the service.

The offending message has been deleted but the incident raises serious questions over individuals controlling players' social media channels.

United boss Jose Mourinho is reported to have spoken to Lingard about the incident and reminded him of his responsibilities, while underlining the importance of being careful on social media to the rest of his players.

Lingard's statement on Tuesday evening read: "A member of my media team inadvertently replied to a tweet this afternoon on my twitter profile during the Munich memorial service at Old Trafford.

"I was unaware as I was attending the service at the time, and don't condone the post or the timing in anyway.

"The post has now been deleted, and I'd like to apologise for any upset caused, this is totally unacceptable and does not reflect my personality or views on this emotional day."

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