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Villa captain Grealish charged after lockdown crash

June 18, 2020 23:54 IST

Jack Grealish

IMAGE: Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish is due to appear before the Birmingham Magistrates' Court on August 25 to answer the charges. Photograph: Carl Recine/Pool via Getty Images

Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish has been charged with multiple driving violations after being involved in a car crash during the COVID-19 lockdown in March, police said on Thursday.

 

British media had reported that police had opened an investigation after the Villa midfielder was pictured leaving an estate in Birmingham following a traffic accident on March 29.

"A Premier League footballer has been charged with driving without due care and attention, and failing to stop at or report a collision," West Midlands Police said in a statement.

"Jack Grealish is accused of the offences in Waterside, Dickens Heath, Solihull, on Sunday, March 29. An investigation was launched after we responded to reports of a car hitting parked vehicles and the driver fleeing on foot."

The 24-year-old is due to appear before the Birmingham Magistrates' Court on August 25 to answer the charges.

Kane to start for Tottenham against Man Utd

Harry Kane

IMAGE: Harry Kane during a training session. Photograph: Peter Cziborra/Reuters

Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane will start in Friday's Premier League clash at home to Manchester United after a six-month absence, according to manager Jose Mourinho.

Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko, who like Kane were ruled out by serious injuries when the Premier League was suspended three months ago, are also set to face United.

The news is a big boost to Tottenham as they try to revive their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, having slipped to eighth in the standings, four points behind fifth-placed United and seven points behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

Kane ruptured a tendon in his hamstring on January 1 while Son broke his arm against Aston Villa in February. Midfielder Sissoko had right knee surgery in January.

"The ones that had surgeries, Kane, Son and Sissoko have all recovered and are ready to play," Mourinho, who will be going up against the club that sacked him last season, told a news conference held via Zoom on Thursday.

"Kane is working extremely well, I can tell you no problem he is going to start the game. Does he have 90 minutes, 80, 70, 60? I don't know. Only the game will tell us that.

"Is he in his top of his form? We don't know. He's had six months without a match but he's an amazing professional."

Mourinho said that while the return of Kane and Son, who have scored 20 league goals between them this season, is timely, the battle to finish in the Champions League places is an uphill challenge for Spurs.

"It would be amazing if we all started with the same number of points, but that's not the case," Mourinho said. "We start minus seven or eight from Chelsea, and minus 13 from Leicester, we start minus too many teams.

"It's a great challenge and motivation. At the end of the nine matches we will see what we did and what the others did."

Mourinho said that Friday's home fixture, that will be played in an empty stadium, feels similar to the first game of the season, albeit under very different circumstances.

"Only when we are on the pitch in these new circumstances will the players be able to feel and us to analyse it, so let's wait for tomorrow," the Portuguese said.

"After more than two decades in football it's hard for me to say something is new, but this is a new."

Alli unlucky to be suspended, says Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Dele Alli is unlucky to be suspended for Friday's Premier League clash with Manchester United, according to his manager Jose Mourinho.

England international Alli was suspended for one match and fined after a social media prank making light of the coronavirus pandemic in early February.

Speaking at a virtual news conference on Thursday ahead of Tottenham's first game back after a three-month shutdown of the season, Mourinho said other players had got away with worse behaviour.

"I can only tell you I feel very sorry that Dele is not playing. Again, I feel very, very sorry that he's not playing. He's a player that works so, so hard during all this period and he's really frustrated that he cannot play the first match," Mourinho said.

"I don't want to say much more than I don't think he deserves a one-match ban compared with wrong behaviours at much bigger dimensions that happened during this period without any consequences."

Mourinho did not name names, but several Premier League players flouted government lockdown rules.

Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, who played against Sheffield United on Wednesday, was involved in a road traffic accident after breaking lockdown to visit a friend, while Manchester City's Kyle Walker apologised after a tabloid newspaper reported he had invited two women to a party at his house.

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