Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has refused to drop Eberechi Eze after the youngster broke COVID-19 protocols to watch former club Queens Park Rangers.

The talented youngster, signed from QPR in the summer, was pictured at Loftus Road watching last weekend’s FA Cup loss to Fulham.

“It was very disappointing. It was a lot of naivety on his part to think he was OK to do those things. It obviously isn’t,” Hodgson said, ahead of Palace’s game against Arsenal on Thursday – live on Sky Sports.

“He has apologised and will learn a harsh lesson from it and we will have to act internally to make sure it is a lesson well and truly learned.

“Does what Eze did deserve leaving him out? I don’t think so.

“But it does merit a fine. We take this very seriously. We don’t want our players breaching coronavirus regulations.

“I think he did it naively and foolishly, not a determined gesture to break a rule but he did. We’re not happy at all and we show that by fining him.

“I’m not a big fan of that over the years, but on this occasion, I think this error of judgement deserves it and he has to be cautious not to make them again.”