Raheem Sterling dropped by England after bust-up with Joe Gomez
Raheem Sterling will not be considered for selection for England’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Montenegro after an incident at St George’s Park with Joe Gomez – barely 24 hours after the pair clashed on-pitch during Liverpool’s crunch victory over Manchester City in the Premier League.
Report says Sterling had tried to grab the Liverpool defender by the throat in the canteen area of England’s St George’s Park training base.
A statement on the FA website referred to the incident leading to Sterling’s omission as “a disturbance in a private team area at St. George’s Park.”
The 24-year-old later admitted on social media that he had a “five to 10 second thing” with Gomez, but added the pair had made up.
Sterling and Gomez were involved in a confrontation towards the end of Liverpool’s 3-1 win against Manchester City in the Premier League on Sunday but appeared to have settled their differences with a post-match embrace.
However, tempers flared once more when the Liverpool centre-half greeted Sterling upon his arrival at St George’s Park, according to Daily Mail:
“Sterling was sat down in the canteen when Gomez arrived and lent over from behind to shake his hand, leading to him to attempt to grab his team-mate by the neck. The rest of the England players initially thought Sterling was joking, but it soon became clear that he had lost control and the pair were separated”.
The severity of the incident had led England manager Gareth Southgate to consider sending Sterling home, the report adds, but instead the forward will miss Montenegro fixture, England’s 1000th international, with the 24-year-old Sterling expected to be available for selection for Sunday’s trip to Kosovo.
“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday,” said Southgate in a statement on the FA’s website.
“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.”