‘Nobody is perfect’ - City loanee defends suspended Hertha team-mate

Ondrej Duda joined Norwich City on loan from Hertha Berlin in January Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus

Ondrej Duda joined Norwich City on loan from Hertha Berlin in January Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Suspended striker Salomon Kalou has been sent a message of support by Norwich City loanee Ondrej Duda after seeing his Hertha Berlin team-mate make headlines for the wrong reasons.

The former Chelsea forward was shaking hands with team-mates and appearing to make light of the coronavirus pandemic in a live video on social media, flouting social distancing guidelines after clubs in Germany’s top two divisions reported for Covid-19 tests as the Bundesliga attempts to get back up and running.

The Ivory Coast international also filmed himself interrupting a team-mate’s test while screening it live on Facebook in an act that was branded “absolutely unacceptable” by the German league.

The 34-year-old told his club’s website: “I’m sorry if I gave the impression that I’m not taking coronavirus seriously. I want to apologise for this.

“The reality is the exact opposite, because I’m really worried about the people of Africa, because health systems aren’t as good there as they are in Germany.

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“I didn’t really think it through, and was excited that my tests came back negative.

“I would also like to apologise to all those who appeared in the video who didn’t know that I was broadcasting live and whom I didn’t want to bring into this situation.”

Duda played alongside Kalou at Hertha for the last three and a half seasons, before joining Norwich on loan in January, and posted a defence of his friend’s character on Instagram.

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“Remember nobody is perfect. Nobody! Just want to thank God for the opportunity to play with you,” wrote the Slovakia international midfielder.

“I learn a lot from you and I know how big and nice is your heart bro - and everyone around you is going to say the same.

“Remember you always gonna have my back brother, doesn’t matter what.”

MORE: Canaries unsure if Duda can complete loan

Kalou responded to the post gratefully, writing: “Bro, I’m so happy I got the chance to play with you here. You are an incredible player. But you are even a better person. Thank you. I appreciate.”

Kalou’s contract was reportedly due to expire at the end of the season, having made just five appearances this season, the last of which was in November.

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