Wellington Phoenix midfielder Tim Payne yesterday tearfully apologized for breaking a COVID-19 quarantine in Australia when he drunkenly drove a golf cart on a Sydney street.
Payne and his passenger in the buggy, teammate Oliver Sail, face the prospect of a heavy fine or suspension over the escapade in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“I’m incredibly sorry and incredibly embarrassed,” Payne told New Zealand’s Radio Sport. “I take full responsibility for my actions and what unfolded on that night... I 100 percent fully expect there to be repercussions.”
The New Zealand-based Phoenix were in isolation in Sydney in the hope that they could play in the A-League if the Australian competition continued behind closed doors.
However, the plan proved fruitless, as the season was canceled and the team returned home on Tuesday.
New Zealand international Payne, 26, said that his teammates were drinking at their remote accommodations in northern Sydney on Monday night when he and Sail decided to take a golf cart for a ride.
The pair were stopped by police, he said, but he denied reports that they were arrested and members of the public intervened to stop them.
Local media reported that the golf cart was stopped about 5km from the players’ accommodations and Payne blew positive on a roadside breath alcohol test.
“Definitely a mistake on my behalf, it’s just one of those things you wish you could take back,” Payne said.
Football Federation Australia (FFA) said that it was investigating and taking the matter very seriously.
“If any misconduct is found to have occurred, FFA will be swift in taking action under the FFA national code of conduct,” it said.
Wellington Phoenix confirmed that an incident involving Payne and Sail had taken place, saying that they too were investigating.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday said that he had called in the “third umpire” as he announced that recreational cricket would be allowed to resume next weekend. In a radio interview earlier on Friday, Johnson angered thousands of club cricketers by saying that the amateur game was still not safe to play amid the COVID-19 pandemic because of issues surrounding communal teas and dressing rooms. “It’s the teas, it’s the changing rooms and so on and so forth. There are other factors involved that generate proximity which you might not get in a game of tennis,” he said. Johnson had already
Hong Kong media reported that police briefly detained a man in a Liverpool team jersey who shouted “long live Liverpool” during anti-government protests on Wednesday, over suspicion that he was inciting independence. In-Media reported that the man was across the street from police officers who were conducting stop-and-searches on a group of protesters, when he shouted: “Long live Liverpool.” Others reportedly cheered and joined in the chant, before officers detained him. The man told In-Media that police had accused him of inciting Hong Kong independence, which now is a punishable crime. He said that he has been a fan of the English soccer
Indian police are investigating an alleged betting scandal in which a sham cricket tournament was held in an Indian village and passed off as a Twenty20 contest played in Sri Lanka. Players portrayed as Sri Lankan cricketers played two matches on Monday last week that were broadcast with live commentary on YouTube, media reports said, along with ball-by-ball coverage on top Indian sports Web sites. The organizers hung Sri Lankan advertisements at the ground for added authenticity and put up tents to block the view from outside the remote rural venue, set in farmland next to a busy highway. Police said that they
Taipower on Sunday charged to their third straight win and took over first place in the Taiwan Football Premier League as previous leaders Taichung Futuro suffered their first defeat of the season, while Hang Yuan rallied from two goals down to complete a thrilling 3-2 victory over National Taiwan University of Sport (NTUS). Heading into the 10th round of matches, unbeaten Taichung Futuro led the league with 21 points, but they fell to their first defeat of the season, a 1-0 loss to Tatung at the National Stadium in Kaohsiung. In a match in which both defenses were on top and there