Aston Villa midfield duo Jack Grealish and Ross Barkley have allegedly been caught breaking the current strict coronavirus rules, according to reports.
The England pair were filmed at a crowded restaurant in London with other partygoers on Saturday. And that’s in breach of the Tier 2 rules.
Those instructions state: “You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.”
The pair had travelled from Birmingham to celebrate Barkley’s 27th birthday. Birmingham is in Tier 3, with London in Tier 2.
The report in The Sun claims the duo were spotted in the Bagatelle restaurant. It then carries these quotes from a fellow diner.
“You wouldn’t have thought there was a global health pandemic going on. They were arrogantly partying without a care.
“Staff wore masks but Grealish and Barkley didn’t.”
Villa’s home Premier League match with Newcastle this weekend was cancelled. That was due to a Covid outbreak in the Magpies’ camp.
Grealish broke rules earlier in lockdown
If the latest allegations are true, this would be the second time Grealish has breached covid rules.
Last month he admitted careless driving in the first lockdown. That was when he broke a ban on non-essential travel.
Back in March he’d stated: “I am old enough now and mature enough to know I’d done wrong.”
As for Saturday’s incident, The Sun also quote an Aston Villa spokesman, who has responded to the new footage.
They’re reported as saying: “Having reviewed footage forwarded to us on Saturday, it appears as though two of our players who live in Tier 2 areas of the country were eating in a restaurant in a Tier 2 location on Saturday afternoon during a weekend off. They left the restaurant at 7.45pm.”
If true, this would give England boss Gareth Southgate a further headache.
Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home when they broke lockdown rules in Iceland back in September.
Southgate understands that young players make mistakes. But he may look upon a second offence from Grealish somewhat dimly.