Football: Watford trio left out of squad after reported coronavirus lockdown breach at player's party

Watford striker Andre Gray reportedly breached coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a birthday party at his home. PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS, AFP) - Watford omitted Andre Gray, Nathaniel Chalobah and Domingos Quina from their squad for the Premier League game against Southampton on Sunday (June 28) as a precautionary measure, the club said in a statement.

The British media reported that striker Gray had breached coronavirus lockdown rules by holding a birthday party at his home, with Quina also pictured at the gathering.

"Gray, Chalobah and Quina have all been omitted from the Watford squad by (manager) Nigel Pearson to ensure the health and safety of all players, staff and officials at today's game," Watford said.

The club had said on Saturday that they were investigating the matter and would speak to the players involved.

The action by the club came after Gray posted a series of videos on social media of a large gathering to celebrate his 29th birthday on Friday.

Quina, 20, was seen in the videos as a group played football on an artificial pitch in the garden.

Gatherings in gardens and outdoor spaces with people from different households are currently restricted to six people due to rules aimed at stopping the spread of coronavirus in England.

"Watford Football Club is aware of social media posts which suggest two players contravened government lockdown protocols," it said in a statement on Saturday.

"The club will investigate fully and speak to the players concerned."

The Hornets are in desperate need of the three points at Vicarage Road as they sit just one point outside the relegation zone.

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