Wellington Phoenix footballers Tim Payne and Oliver Sail have been banned for four A-League matches after they broke coronavirus self-isolation rules in Sydney in March.

Payne and Sail took a golf cart for a late-night joyride along a busy road, with Payne charged with drink driving. He entered a guilty plea last week, and will be sentenced later in the month.

Speaking to NZME earlier this year, Payne said he was "incredibly embarrassed" but took full responsibility for the situation.

"It was definitely a mistake on my behalf. It's just one of those things you wish you could take back," Payne said.


"I 100 per cent expect there to be repercussions for my actions."

Those repercussions have now also come on the field, with the pair being suspended for four games by Football Federation Australia (FFA). The Phoenix have six regular-season matches remaining, with the season set to resume in mid-July, though the club have yet to receive clearance to enter Australia.

Tim Payne of Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Getty
Tim Payne of Wellington Phoenix. Photo / Getty

Wellington Phoenix general manager David Dome says that while he is disappointed with Payne and Sail's actions, the club recognises the regret both players have displayed following the incident.

"Both Payne and Sail understand the gravity of their actions; they know this has impacted the rest of the team and the reputation of the club - to their credit they've worked hard since the incident to repair some of the damage they've caused."

Wellington Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay says that with the penalties decided, the club can now move forward with resuming the A-League season.

"We can now put this behind us and focus on our upcoming matches – I am confident going forward that both Tim and Oli will be exemplary members of our squad and contribute to our team's success once their suspensions have finished."

Both players have also been fined by the Phoenix.