Barry Bannan suspended by Aston Villa following crash


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The Independent Football

Barry Bannan has been suspended by Aston Villa while the club carry out an internal inquiry after the midfielder was involved in a motorway car crash during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Villa will not consider the Scottish international for selection for Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash with Sunderland at the Stadium Of Light.

Bannan was arrested by police on suspicion on drink driving - along with Shrewsbury striker James Collins, a former Villa player - and subsequently bailed

Villa boss Alex McLeish, in a media statement, said: "Barry Bannan has been suspended while the club carries out internal enquiries into allegations which arose last weekend.

"He will not be available for this weekend's game at Sunderland."

The accident occurred on the M1 at around 5.30am on Sunday near junction 26.

Villa confirmed on Monday that they had launched an investigation - with Bannan not participating in an open training session at Villa Park - and have now opted to suspend the player.

Twenty-one-year-old Bannan is regarded as one of Villa's brightest prospects and has made an encouraging start to the current campaign.

He has already won nine caps for his country.

Collins joined Shrewsbury from Villa during the 2011 January transfer window.

Police had already confirmed that two men had been bailed after being arrested in connection with the accident involving a Range Rover on the southbound carriageway.

While Bannan will not face the Black Cats, midfielder Chris Herd is clear to play after Villa successfully appealed against the red card he suffered against West Brom on Saturday.

Herd was sent off for violent conduct for an alleged stamp on Albion defender Jonas Olsson and had faced a three match ban.

Herd said: "I'm very happy with the decision and I feel vindicated because I was convinced all along I had done nothing wrong.

"My foot was being held by a West Brom player and I was just trying to free it from his grasp.

"I'm grateful and glad that the (Football Association) appeal committee reached the right decision."