Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic has hit out at Luka Jovic over claims that the Real Madrid striker broke a quarantine order in his homeland.
The 22-year-old forward, who moved to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer from Eintracht Frankfurt, was alleged to have been seen partying in the streets of Belgrade after returning to his homeland to celebrate the birthday of his girlfriend.
Serbian players had previously been urged to refrain from returning home in a bid to stop the spread of the virus, which has infected over 225,000 people across the world, resulting in more than 9,000 deaths.
Spain has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic, which has caused the virtual lockdown of the entire country, with more than 17,000 cases and 767 deaths.
“We have negative examples of our footballers, who are paid very well, ignoring mandatory self-isolation upon returning home,” Brnabic said of the player’s actions, according to AS .
With reports of more than 45,000 people returning home, with many ignoring isolation orders, Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said: “We have written criminal reports against some of these famous athletes. These people will respond when the court determines that the time has come for that.”
Real Madrid players and staff find themselves quarantined following the discovery that basketball player Trey Thompkins tested positive for the disease.
Jovic is likely to find himself in hot water at the club and his actions will have done him few favours given that he is struggling to justify his €60 million (£53m/$67.5m) fee.
Having been so prolific in the Bundesliga last season, he has managed just two goals and two assists for Madrid in 24 outings, leading to reports that head coach Zinedine Zidane is looking for other options to supplement Karim Benzema at the forefront of his attack.
Madrid’s season has been riddled with inconsistency and they find themselves two points behind league leaders Barcelona in the Primera Division.
Meanwhile, their Champions League hopes are on a knife edge after they suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Manchester City in their last-16 first-leg tie, which was played in the Bernabeu.
The Champions League, like all of Europe’s major competitions, is currently suspended until the viral crisis is controlled.