Belgian football player Tuur Dierckx has been sentenced to a month in prison by the court in Antwerp for organising a lockdown party with 14 guests, including four other professional footballers.
The Westerlo player had to pay an €800 fine alongside his sentence for violating the current coronavirus fighting measures, which state people can only have one close personal contact who they can invite indoors, outside of their households.
"This is a severe sentence, but it is in line with verdicts in similar cases", his lawyer Carl De Munck, who had previously argued that footballers are in big bubbles with the trainers and staff and that they do not always realise the seriousness of the pandemic and the need to limit their contacts.
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Police were called to his flat in the city centre of Antwerp around 4:30 AM on 13 December after receiving a report of noise nuisance.
After the police intervened, there was almost no perception of guilt, as the guests were still hugging, kissing, and shaking hands as if there was no pandemic, according to the prosecutor.
Following the incident, Dierckx worked on the Covid-19 ward in Geel for one day, which made him realise the severity of this situation, and made him realise that he had made a big mistake, he told the court.
Dierckx is not expected to appeal the verdict.
The Brussels Times