Katie McCabe claims Dubai beach photograph was taken during business trip

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Tom Garry
·2 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Katie McCabe - GETTY IMAGES / INSTAGRAM
Katie McCabe - GETTY IMAGES / INSTAGRAM

Arsenal Women will remind Katie McCabe of her responsibilities on social media, after she posted images from a beach in Dubai on Monday, on a trip which Telegraph Sport understands she has claimed was made for ‘business' reasons.

McCabe has told the club that her journey to the United Arab Emirates, which came after the introduction of a travel ban for Tier 4 residents in London, was for a business meeting with her agent, sources have told Telegraph Sport.

The Republic of Ireland international played for Arsenal on Sunday in their 4-0 win over Everton in the Women’s Super League.

In his post-match press conference after that game, Arsenal manager Joe Montemurro stressed the importance of everybody at the club being professional and “following the Government guidelines”, which prohibit travel outside of a tier 4 area except for work.

McCabe’s Instagram story on Monday, which appeared to show her on a beach adjacent to Dubai’s iconic Burj Al Arab, is understood to have disappointed club officials because it did not make clear that the journey had anything to do with work.

Players and staff at other London-based clubs have told Telegraph Sport the post was disrespectful to the many foreign WSL players living in Tier 4 areas who have cancelled their pre-planned trips home to see their loved ones at Christmas, because of the restrictions.

Sam Dean's Arsenal briefing
Sam Dean's Arsenal briefing

The WSL is on a winter break without any matches between December 20 and January 9 and dozens of players had expected to travel overseas to see their relatives. Some players have been unable to see their families since March because of the coronavirus.

Arsenal are understood to have accepted McCabe’s explanation for her version of events, with her agent also being present in Dubai, and no disciplinary action is anticipated.

Versatile 25-year-old full-back McCabe, who can also play on the wing and as a forward, signed for Arsenal in 2015 and was a key part of the side that won the WSL title in 2019.

The coronavirus pandemic had a significant impact on the WSL fixture schedule in December, with two of last Sunday's matches postponed because of positive cases at Chelsea and West Ham respectively.

Of the 864 Covid-19 tests carried across the WSL and Women's Championship last week, 32 tests returned positive.

That figure accounts for nearly half the total number of positive tests recorded since testing began at the top end of the women's game on July 2.