Football Article

Southgate explains Sterling exile after Gomez clash

Southgate explains Sterling exile after Gomez clash Photo: TT
England manager Gareth Southgate in press conference discussing the Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez incident England v Montenegro

England boss Gareth Southgate has withdrawn Raheem Sterling from the national squad to face Montenegro later this week after an altercation with teammate Joe Gomez.

Sterling and Gomez faced off in Sunday’s crucial English Premier League clash between Manchester City and Liverpool.

Sterling, an ex-Liverpool player, tangled with Gomez in the dying minutes of the match, although the incident appeared innocuous.

However it is understood there was a secondary incident when Sterling approached Gomez once in camp with the England squad about the incident, which the English FA labelled as a “disturbance”.

Southgate confirmed Sterling has been removed from the squad for Thursday’s 2020 European Championships qualifier against Montenegro at Wembley Stadium.

“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday,” Southgate said.

“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.”

England will also face Kosovo away on Sunday night, although it’s unclear if Sterling will permitted back into contention to play.

The City forward took to social media to clarify that he and Gomez had moved on from the incident.

Sterling wrote on Instagram: “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.

“This is why we play the sport, because of our love for it. Me and Joe (sic) 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.”

Ben somerford
Sports Pundit staff writer
@bensomerford Australian journalist who specialises on all sports, focusing on football, tennis, basketball and racing, having written for global publications including FourFourTwo, AAP, Inside Futbol and many more....

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