ENGLAND debutants Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home from the national team camp on Monday after the pair breached quarantine rules while staying in Iceland.
The Football Association (FA) is investigating the incident after Foden, 20, and Greenwood, 18, made their debuts in England’s 1-0 victory in Reykjavik.
“Unfortunately this (Monday) morning, it was brought to my attention that two of the boys have broken the COVID-19 guidelines in terms of our secure bubble,” said England manager Gareth Southgate in his press conference.
“So, we had to decide very quickly that they couldn’t have any interaction with the rest of the team and wouldn’t be able to train. Given the procedures we have to follow now, they will have to travel back to England separately.
“They have apologised, but everything has happened so quickly and we have to get to the facts.”
England are in Copenhagen to face Denmark on Tuesday to continue their UEFA Nations League campaign in Group A2.
Greenwood was called up after an impressive 17-goal tally for Manchester United last season and said it was “a dream come true’’ to represent his country.
A spokesperson for Manchester United said they are “disappointed with the actions of Greenwood over this situation.”
The dismissal of the two young England players will give Southgate a selection headache in just 24 hours before their next game.
Southgate already had to call up seven first-timers to his squad because of injuries and then left out defender Harry Maguire.
The Manchester United captain is appealing a conviction for aggravated assault after an incident in Greece.
Manchester City defender Kyle Walker is unavailable after his red card against Iceland and Foden’s absence means they are limited to just five midfielders.
“This is the job (England manager) like no other,” said Southgate.
“All management roles are difficult and this is another level, in terms of what you have to deal (with) and what is expected.
“The players who have been with us for a long time know exactly what is expected.”
Southgate added that the team was not aware Foden and Greenwood had left the team hotel.
“Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the hotel,” he said.
“Whenever people have stepped across that line when they have been with us, we have dealt with it appropriately. But we cannot act on things that happen when they are not with us.
“We are still getting to the depths of all the information because this was only brought to my attention a couple of hours before training.
“So, I’m still getting to grips with the detail. What is clear is there is a breach of the COVID-19 guidelines.”
Southgate was asked if this incident would be detrimental to any future England call-ups.
“They have been naive and we have dealt with it appropriately,” added Southgate.
“I recognise their age. But, of course, the whole world is dealing with this pandemic and there is a responsibility on all ages that they do their part.
“I’m a father of young adults and I know they can get things wrong. We are not excusing that in this instance and we have to assess everything else moving forward.”(dpa/NAN)
– Sept. 8, 2020 @ 11:15 GMT |