Aston Villa have imposed a ban on playing fantasy football as they continue to investigate how news of Jack Grealish’s injury was leaked.
Speculation claiming Grealish was not available to face Leicester City on Sunday surfaced online on Friday.
Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers admits he learned of the news via the leak, while it left Villa manager Dean Smith furious and vowing to take action.
One explanation for the information getting out relates to fantasy football. On Friday evening, eagle-eyed fans noticed that numerous Villa players and staff had taken Grealish out of their teams in the top-flight’s official Fantasy Premier League game, which has over eight million managers this season.
The changes made to those teams were visible to any fantasy manager once the transfer deadline passed ahead of Wolves ‘ clash with Leeds on Friday night – the first fixture of the gameweek.
As a result, The Times claims Villa have taken action and banned their players from playing fantasy football, although they do not believe the game was the source of the leak.
Is it fair to ban players from fantasy football? Have your say in the comments.
Smith’s investigation into the release of the information is ongoing and he vowed to “reprimand” the person responsible after his side were defeated 2-1 by Leicester on Sunday.
“I have been made aware that on social media there have been rumours he wasn’t going to play,” said the Villa boss.
“If it has been coming out of our training ground then I will find out where that is coming from and reprimand it.”
Asked whether the Foxes benefitted from the early team news, Smith responded: “Yeah, it certainly does (give the opposition a leg-up) and it’s something I wouldn’t be happy with so we’ll certainly get to the bottom of this.”
Smith also provided an injury update on Grealish, adding: “Jack has had discomfort in training, we’ll assess it as we go. It’s not a recurrence of an old injury and it’s not long-term. I hope he’ll be back for Leeds (on Saturday.”
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