PA James McClean (file pic).
# Punishment
Ireland international James McClean suspended with immediate effect after alleged Covid-19 breach
Stoke City confirmed the news in a statement this evening.

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL James McClean has been suspended by Championship club Stoke City with immediate effect, it has been confirmed.

According to the Stoke Sentinel, a video surfaced on Instagram of the 31-year-old boxing with a trainer in a private gym, which contravenes the current regulations in Britain.

The club have consequenty opted to hold a disciplinary hearing and McClean will be unavailable for the weekend’s clash with Blackburn Rovers.

A brief statement on the official club website read: “Stoke City can confirm that James McClean has been suspended with immediate effect pending a disciplinary hearing into an alleged breach of Covid-19 regulations, namely training in a private gym.”

McClean joined Stoke from West Brom in the summer of 2018.

His time at the club previously had not been without controversy. Last March, he apologised after posting an image of himself in a balaclava while speaking to his children.

The winger has also repeatedly criticised the online abuse — often sectarian in nature — that has been aimed at him in recent years.

On the pitch, McClean has looked rejuvenated since Michael O’Neill took charge at Stoke and was named their Player of the Year last season.

This season, he has made 26 appearances in all competitions, with the Potters currently eighth in the Championship.

McClean’s campaign was interrupted in November, however, when he was forced to self-isolate and missed two Stoke games after testing positive for Covid-19 while on Ireland duty.

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