Football: Aston Villa to fine Grealish for ignoring coronavirus lockdown

In a photo taken on March 1, 2020, Aston Villa's Jack Grealish reacts during the Carabao Cup Final against Manchester City at the Wembley Stadium in London. PHOTO: REUTERS

BIRMINGHAM (REUTERS) - Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish will be disciplined and fined for ignoring government guidance to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Premier League club said on Monday (March 30).

British media reported earlier that West Midlands Police had opened an investigation after Grealish was photographed leaving an estate in the suburbs of Birmingham on Sunday morning shortly after a traffic accident.

The 24-year-old Grealish apologised in a video on Twitter shortly before Villa issued a statement saying they would take disciplinary action against him.

"I just want to do a quick video message just to say how deeply embarrassed I am by what's happened this weekend," Grealish said.

"I just got a call from a friend asking to go around to his and I stupidly agreed to do so.

"I don't want anyone to make the same mistake that I did so I urge everyone to stay at home and follow the rules and the guidelines of what we've been asked to do.

"I know for a fact that I'll be doing that in the near future now and I urge everyone to do the same. I hope everyone can accept my apology and we can move on from this."

Britain has more than 19,000 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus with over 1,200 deaths and is in lockdown.

The Premier League was suspended until April 30 earlier this month.

Villa said they were disappointed with Grealish's conduct and that the player had accepted that his decision to leave his house was wrong and in breach of government guidelines.

"The player will be disciplined and fined with the proceeds donated to The University Hospitals Charity in Birmingham," the club added on its website.

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