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Luka Jovic's father: 'He's being made to seem like a criminal'

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Luka Jovic's father has defended the Real Madrid forward over claims he risked public health by failing to self-isolate -- while accepting that if guilty, his son should face jail time.

The 22-year-old Jovic has faced public outrage and been criticised by Serbia's president and prime minister after flying to Belgrade with the permission of Real Madrid's medical department.

The club's doctors had told the striker he could continue his two-week self-isolation -- imposed on the squad after a Real Madrid basketball player tested positive for COVID-19 and their Valdebebas training complex was closed -- at home in Serbia.

"Luka took two tests and was negative in both. Now he's being made to seem like a criminal," Milan Jovic told the Serbian radio station Puls. "If he has to go to prison, let him go. I agree completely with the president and the prime minister, but only if he's guilty of wrongdoing."

"I'd support that decision if he'd done something wrong, but he arrived in Belgrade and stayed at home" he added. "[Jovic's girlfriend] Sofia is pregnant and she can't go out. There are photos of the two out having fun, but they are from Spain, months ago."

Jovic has already apologised and said that he had failed to understand how to behave while in quarantine.

"I broke my isolation because I wasn't aware of the rules. I know it's hard to believe, but it's true" he told the website Objetik. "In Spain, even in Italy, someone in quarantine can go to throw out the trash, go to a pharmacy or a shop... My mistake was about how to behave in self-isolation, if I could go out in certain circumstances. I'm ready to face the consequences of my actions."

Jovic signed for Real Madrid for €60 million from Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer of 2019.

He has faced a difficult start to life in La Liga, scoring just two league goals.