AAP/PA Images Wellington Phoenix midfielder Tim Payne.

A-League player arrested after drunken joyriding in golf buggy while supposed to be on lockdown

Tim Payne of Wellington Phoenix and his team-mate Oliver Saile are under investigation by the FFA after being stopped by the police on a Sydney road.

THE FOOTBALL FEDERATION Australia (FFA) is investigating after media reports alleged two Wellington Phoenix players drunkenly went joyriding in a golf cart when they were supposed to be on lockdown in Sydney amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A number of publications including The Australian claim two Phoenix players — named as New Zealand international Tim Payne and team-mate Oliver Sail — were stopped by police during the early hours of Tuesday morning when spotted driving the cart on a commonly used Sydney road.

Former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Payne is reported to have been arrested. Phoenix had been based at an academy in Sydney to avoid quarantine measures upon returning to New Zealand, thus allowing them to play the remaining weeks of the A-League season.

But following the competition’s suspension on Monday, they returned home the following day.

FFA confirmed knowledge of the reports on Wednesday and insisted it is looking into the allegations. A statement read: “Football Federation Australia (FFA) has been made aware of a report regarding two Wellington Phoenix players.

“FFA is investigating the matter, which is being taken very seriously. If any misconduct is found to have occurred, FFA will be swift in taking action under the FFA National Code of Conduct. “FFA is not in a position to comment further at this time.”

The A-League is on hiatus indefinitely, though a further formal status assessment is scheduled to take place on 22 April.

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