FORMER Blackburn flop Tim Payne has been arrested for allegedly driving a golf buggy topless down a busy Sydney road during the city's coronavirus lockdown.
Payne, who signed a two-and-a-half year deal with Rovers in 2012 but never played a game due to work permit issues, now faces a maximum of nine months in jail.
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The New Zealand international, 26, was arrested in the early hours of Tuesday morning local time by New South Wales Police.
It is alleged that midfielder Payne was found with his Wellington Phoenix team-mate Oliver Sail on Wakehurst Parkway on Sydney's northern beaches.
Witnesses told the Daily Telegraph that both players were topless – and a breathalyser reading saw Payne charged with drink driving.
The pair had been ordered to obey the club's 14-day lockdown rule in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
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Payne is due in court in June but could avoid attending a hearing in Sydney by lodging his plea from New Zealand, say Goal.
As a first-time offender, it is believed he could be put behind bars for nine months if found guilty.
Sail was also in the golf cart but was not arrested or charged.
Police cleared the goalkeeper of any wrongdoing.
Wellington had been in quarantine at the Sydney Academy of Sport in Narrabeen before the A-League had been called off.
The pair are reported to have taken the golf cart – which was not damaged – from the academy.
Both players could also face a heavy fine and suspension, with the Australian FA also investigating.
An AFA statement read: "Football Federation Australia (FFA) has this evening been made aware of a report regarding two Wellington Phoenix FC 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."
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