Stoke City striker Saido Berahino will face trial for drink-driving in London’s West End after claiming he was fleeing a gang of armed robbers.
Berahino, 25, from Old Penkridge Road, Staffordshire, appeared in court, after being arrested in Bedford Square on 18 February.
The striker was granted unconditional bail until his trial on 15 May.
He had been threatened by armed robbers just before his arrest at about 03:00 GMT, Jake Taylor, for Berahino, said.
Berahino was arrested in Bedford Square after reports of a “disturbance” in nearby Great Russell Street.
The Burundi-born striker appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court charged with one count of drink-driving.
Taylor, who said a number of items had been taken, stated the player had driven “a very short distance” in his Range Rover over a period of about 15 seconds.
He said the issue in the case was “duress of circumstance”, and that there would be no expert evidence in relation to the breathalyser reading.
Berahino was almost three times the drink-drive limit, with 103mg of alcohol in 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35mg.
The Met Police previously said an investigation into the alleged robbery was continuing and no arrests had been made.
Berahino spoke in court only to give his name, address and to give his nationality as British.
In further embarrassment for the player, photographs showed the Mercedes sports car he travelled to court in had been given a parking ticket during the brief hearing.
Stoke City have not commented on the player’s arrest but it is understood he will be dealt with internally under the Championship club’s disciplinary policy.