Former Chelsea forward Salomon Kalou has been suspended by his German Bundesliga club, Hertha Berlin after filming himself flouting social distancing rules on his return to training.
Kalou appeared to make light of the coronavirus pandemic live on social media even as Bundesliga attempts to return to action later this month.
The Ivorian also filmed himself interrupting a team-mate’s test while screening it live on Facebook – an act that was branded “absolutely unacceptable” by the German league.
It comes just days after Kalou admitted to the British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC that it “would be awkward” returning to playing top-level football because the game is a contact sport.
A Hertha statement read: “Salomon Kalou was tempted by his negative test results to greet the other players in the dressing room, sometimes with a handshake, contrary to the clear announcements made by health authorities.
“With his ‘Corona Song’, Kalou gave the impression that he is not aware of the extent of the ongoing pandemic.
“With this video taken inside the team’s dressing room, Kalou broke clear internal rules and displayed a behaviour, which is neither appropriate for this current situation, nor reflective of the code of conduct of Hertha BSC.
“The club has, therefore, made the decision to suspend the player in question from training and matches with immediate effect.”
Kalou had since apologised for his actions on the club’s official website.
Kalou previously played for Feyenoord from 2003 to 2006 and Chelsea from 2006 to 2012. While at Chelsea, he won numerous honours, including the Premier League, the UEFA Champions League, four FA Cups, and the League Cup.
He moved to Lille on a free transfer in July 2012 upon the expiry of his contract at Chelsea, where he spent two seasons before moving to Hertha for an undisclosed fee.
A full international for the Ivory Coast since 2007, Kalou amassed 97 international caps and represented his country at three FIFA World Cups, six Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, and the 2008 Olympics.