Football: France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris escapes jail term but gets driving ban, fine for drink-driving

Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris leaves after attending Westminster Magistrates Court in central London, on Sept 12, 2018.
Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris leaves after attending Westminster Magistrates Court in central London, on Sept 12, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - France's World Cup-winning goalkeeper Hugo Lloris avoided jail but received a 20-month driving ban and a £50,000 (S$89,600) fine on Wednesday (Sept 12) for drink-driving in central London.

The Tottenham Hotspur custodian, one of the heroes of the France side that marched to their second World Cup in 20 years in Russia in July, had his fine reduced by a third because he pleaded guilty.

"On 15th of July, he was the proudest man of the planet," attorney David Sonn said in reference to the day Lloris and his France team lifted the World Cup trophy in Moscow.

"Forty days later, he was arrested in central London," said the lawyer. "Today he apologises to the court."

Just weeks after playing a key role in France's World Cup glory, Lloris was pulled over in a routine stop on Aug 24 at 2.20am in Gloucester Place, central London.

The 31-year-old, driving a Porsche, was reported by the Daily Mail to allegedly have registered 80mcg of alcohol in 100ml of breath during the roadside test, more than double the legal limit of 35mcg.

"I wish to apologise wholeheartedly to my family, the club, my team-mates, the manager and all of the supporters," he said in a statement.

 

"Drink-driving is completely unacceptable, I take full responsibility for my actions and it is not the example I wish to set."

After spending seven hours in a cell, Lloris, a married father of two, returned home on foot.

The maximum punishment for drink-driving in Britain is a six-month jail term, although fines and temporary driving bans are more common.

Lloris missed France's opening games in the inaugural Uefa Nations League due to a thigh injury, coach Didier Deschamps has said.

The coach gave Lloris his full backing, saying: "I've spoken with him, he realises his mistake and he's sorry for it.

"He knows only too well that it shouldn't happen, but it happened and it's not going to change what I think about him and the Hugo Lloris that I've always known."

He was also given the backing of Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino before their 3-0 win at Manchester United last month in the English Premier League.

France won their second World Cup with a 4-2 final victory over Croatia, although Lloris was guilty of a bad mistake that allowed Mario Mandzukic to score.

He had kept clean sheets in France's semi-final win over Belgium and their quarter-final success against Uruguay.

Lloris signed a new £150,000 per week deal at Tottenham during the summer as he was rewarded for another fine season.

"The club takes matters such as this extremely seriously and it will be dealt with internally," a Tottenham spokesman said, referring to the drink-driving charge.

Lloris has been with Tottenham since joining from Lyon in 2012, making 256 appearances for the north London club.