Apology follows buggy joyride gone wrong

Sports | AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE 27 Mar 2020

Wellington Phoenix midfielder Tim Payne apologized in tears yesterday for breaking Covid-19 quarantine in Australia when he drunkenly drove a golf buggy along a Sydney street.

Payne and a passenger in the buggy, teammate Oliver Sail, face big fines or suspensions over the incident in the early hours of Tuesday.

"I'm incredibly sorry and incredibly embarrassed," Payne said. "I expect 100 percent there to be repercussions."

New Zealand-based Phoenix were in isolation in Sydney in the hope they could play in the Australian A-League if the competition continued behind closed doors. But the season has since been cancelled and the team have returned home.

New Zealand international Payne, 26, said team members were drinking at their accommodation in northern Sydney on Monday night when he and Sail decided to go for a ride in the golf buggy.

The pair were stopped by police - though Payne denied they were arrested - when the buggy stopped about five kilometers from the team base. And Payne failed a roadside breath test.

Football Federation Australia is now investigating and treating the matter "seriously."

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