A HAMPSHIRE football coach has been accused of breaking lockdown rules by staging a training session.

A video has emerged of young players taking part in a practice session at the home of Hythe and Dibden FC on Saturday afternoon.

The event at Clayfield Sports Centre in Hythe has sparked outrage on social media.

One person tweeted: "I couldn't go to my grandad's funeral but these people can dance around. Makes we feel sick."

Another social media user said he saw about four adults, several boys aged 16-18 and around eight children aged 10-15, adding: "Absolute disgrace".

The coach at the centre of the storm, Terry Cox, has defended his actions.

He tweeted: "I made a carefully considered decision that the mental and physical benefit for the young lads outweighed the potential risk.

"I oversaw an entirely social distanced session with no contact.

"I appreciate this is a sensitive issue and obviously I and the club have the greatest respect for the work the NHS has been doing and did everything in my power to ensure this brief exercise would not cause any potential problems."

But his actions have angered other members of the community, including a man with links to another football club in the area.

He said: "Mr Cox is far from qualified to make a judgement on the mental and physical wellbeing of the kids above the guidance being provided by the government and the FA. I've raised the issue with Hampshire FA and I'm hoping they will take a strong stance."

But one of the people who took to social media after the training session defended Mr Cox.

He said: "I saw a small number of boys exercising, with almost all the exercises at a distance. I couldn’t see from the video any close work."

A statement issued by the Hampshire FA earlier this year said the suspension of all grassroots football, including training, would continue until further notice.

Hampshire FA has been approached for comment.