Arsenal Women manager Joe Montemurro says his players that travelled to Dubai “understand the impact of their actions”  but said he will leave it to the “greater Arsenal” to decide whether they should make a public apology.

Montemurro was speaking for the first time since Telegraph Sport revealed last week that three of Arsenal’s players had gone to the United Arab Emirates during the Women’s Super League Christmas break and that one subsequently tested positive for Covid-19.

The players, who the club say travelled for ‘business’ reasons, have apologised to their team-mates, after the number of players who had to isolate last week meant that Arsenal’s game against Aston Villa was called off.

Several players from other WSL clubs also travelled to Dubai over Christmas, including four from Manchester City who subsequently tested positive for Covid-19, while Manchester United boss Casey Stoney apologised last Friday for allowing some of her own players to go.

Montemurro, whose players were living in Tier 4 of the Government’s coronavirus restrictions at the time, said on Thursday: “There’s obviously disappointment at the situation and the way it panned out. From my perspective it’s about the moral compass and the consequences of these situations. The players have apologised for their actions.

“We have dealt with it from an Arsenal perspective internally, and for me the really important thing, going back to the morality of making these decisions when you’re faced with them, is that it doesn’t happen again. It’s all about actions now.

“It’s all about making sure these players understand, under these situations and under these circumstances, that they are role models, they are people that are in the public eye, and we won’t be able to tolerate these sorts of decisions, not just from a sporting perspective but from a global, morality perspective.”

Asked if his players should apologise publicly to the fans, Montemurro replied: “I will have to leave that to the greater Arsenal. I will have to leave that to Arsenal to make that decision from a personal, fan perspective.

"They [the players] understand their actions. We’ve dealt with it in a way we believe is right.”

When questioned as to whether the players would face any punishments, Montemurro replied: “We’ve taken it up internally.”

He added that he "totally understood" fans’ reactions, but said there were grey areas, adding: “Are some things, plain and simple, wrong? Yes they are. Are some things sort of a little bit grey? Yes they are.

“We can’t change what’s happened in hindsight, all we can do is make sure there’s a real understanding of what’s happened and a real understanding, going forward, that these things don’t happen again.”

The Australian coach added that "different emotions were flying around initially", within the rest of his squad, but when asked about squad unity, replied: "We’ve had a good discussion internally, we’ve understood situations, we’ve dealt with the situation at hand, we’ve dealt with the severity of certain things, and in all aspects as I’ve said before, there’s no right or wrong. You can look at it from all different aspects."

Montemurro’s side, who are third in the WSL, travel to Reading on Sunday. Arsenal are four points behind leaders Manchester United with 12 games remaining this term.