Raheem Sterling was allowed to withdraw from the national team and fly back to England to accompany and comfort his family after his home was burglarized while he was competing in Qatar, the Guardian reported on Sunday.
According to reports, Sterling’s home was burglarized by armed criminals on Saturday night local time. His children and his wife were at home at the time, but fortunately no one was injured. After learning of the incident, England national team head coach Gareth Southgate exempted Sterling from playing in the Round of 16 knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar against Senegal on Sunday, and reporters also confirmed that whether the Chelsea star will return in time to play in the quarter finals knockout stage game against France remains a big question.
Subsequently, when ITV reporter asked Gareth Southgate about the matter and asked whether Sterling would not return to the team to play in France, he said that the team gave Sterling everything he needed as well as time he needed so that he and his family overcome the shadow of this horrific incident together, and emphasize that nothing should be more important than the safety of his family.
Southgate responded that: “I really don’t know, because he needs to go through this difficult moment with his family at the moment. I don’t want to add any pressure to him. Sometimes football is not the most important thing, the family must be the no. 1 you focus on in life.”
And when the reporter asked Southgate whether this incident caused him trouble when he was preparing for England‘s match against Senegal, Southgate frankly said that theoretically this did bring him a problem of being caught off guard, but as for disrupting his squad selection, this was not a huge issue. He explained: “It wasn’t pre-planned. I spent a lot of time with Raheem this morning. I told him there are days in your life where things happen and you have to deal with them, so he’s currently on his way home, yes, we’re obviously mindful of the importance of his personal space and his privacy should being respected, so we don’t want to go into too many details.”
“Of course, it’s not ideal for the preparation of the team before a big game, but it’s always a minor factor because at times like this, individuality is more important than the team, so we need to deal with that situation, and then I had to pass the message on to the other lads to get him home this afternoon.”
In addition, when national team captain, Harry Kane, was asked about his views on this matter, he did not forget to give spiritual support to his teammate. He said: “The thoughts of all of us will be with him and his family together. It’s a personal matter but when you see your teammate and friend dealing with something like this, you know it’s not easy. We have to accept it day in and day out. I’m sure Raheem will have some time to speak with the manager and make the best decision for him and his family in due course. This is the most important thing and we send him our best wishes and hope to see him back as soon as possible.”
Sterling’s contribution to the England national team in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is unquestionable. In this tournament, Sterling played twice in the group stage, scoring 1 goal and assisting once, proving that he is still one of the biggest contributors to the Three Lions’ success in reaching the round of 16 knockout stage.
Be sure to stay tuned to us to get to know all the latest updates and news about the hottest football, basketball, gaming and e-sports news at 77577SPORTS. If you enjoy our contents, please leave a like for us at our homepage as a sign of encouragement. Thanks and we’ll catch you next time.