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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 April, 2005, 06:49 GMT 07:49 UK
Tagged Pennant's unwanted record
Jermaine Pennant
Pennant needed special permission to play after being declared fit
Jermaine Pennant has become the first footballer to play in the Premiership while wearing an electronic tag.

The Arsenal winger, who is on loan to Birmingham City, was tagged after being released from prison after 31 days of a three-month sentence for drink driving.

Referee Howard Webb ruled he was able to play against Tottenham on Saturday with the device strapped to his ankle.

But the Campaign against Drink Driving said it would complain to the Attorney General about Pennant's early release.

'Kid gloves'

Carole Whittingham, the group's national secretary, said: "We feel that this case has been a farce from start to finish.

"It seems to depend on who you are as to how you are treated. This is not a level playing field. The majority of people would have got a minimum of six months, he got three.

He appears to have been treated with kid gloves
Carole Whittingham

"He appears to have been treated with kid gloves. He is a role model to young people and has a huge profile."

Pennant, 22, pleaded guilty to drink driving, driving while disqualified and using a vehicle without insurance and was jailed on 1 March at Aylesbury Magistrates' Court.

'Difficult period'

He was arrested in January after he was spotted in a car park in Aylesbury driving a Mercedes with a lamp post dragging beneath it.

In a statement after his release, Pennant said: "It's a relief to be out. I'm looking forward to putting on my football boots and start training again.

"I'd like to thank all those that have helped me through this difficult period."

As well as being tagged on his left ankle as part of his parole conditions, Pennant is subject to a curfew and must not leave his home between 7pm and 7am.

Pennant is not the first footballer to play with a tag. That accolade belongs to Gary Croft who played for Ipswich Town in a football league match in 2000.




SEE ALSO:
Arsenal footballer drops appeal
08 Mar 05 |  London
Player may be released with tag
24 Mar 05 |  West Midlands


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