Raheem Sterling has been dropped by England after allegedly trying to grab Liverpool defender Joe Gomez by the neck after a set-to in the canteen at St George’s Park.
It is claimed that Sterling, who clashed with Gomez during Sunday’s Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City, tried to grab Gomez by the neck when the Liverpool defender approached him in the canteen to offer him his hand. Other members of the England squad initially thought Sterling was joking but they soon had to separate them as the row intensified.
Sterling has subsequently been axed from England’s European Championship qualifier against Montenegro by boss Gareth Southgate.
The 24-year-old winger, who was a Liverpool player for 5 years before making a controversial move to Manchester City in 2015, has since published an apology on social media (see below).
He said: “First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me.
“Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point.
“Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.
“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.
“We move this is why we play this sport because of our love for it.
“Me and @JoeGomez5 are good, we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing, it’s done we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.
“Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday.”
A statement issued by the England Football Association said: “The FA can confirm Raheem Sterling will not be considered for Thursday’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Montenegro as a result of a disturbance in a private team area at St. George’s Park today. He will remain with the squad.”
A further statement issued by boss Southgate said: “We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.
“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.
“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”
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