• World Cup 2022

Why has Raheem Sterling left the England squad?

Raheem Sterling - England
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The Chelsea winger wasn’t part of the Three Lions squad that claimed a 3-0 World Cup win over Senegal on Sunday.

Raheem Sterling missed England’s 3-0 World Cup victory against Senegal to fly home to be with his family.

The English Football Association (FA) confirmed on Sunday that the 27-year-old winger would return to the UK to attend to a ‘family matter, just hours before the start of a last-16 tie between England and Senegal.

According to The Times, Sterling left upon learning that armed intruders broke into his family home in Surrey. His partner, Paige Milian, and young children were in the house. Full details of the incident remain unclear, but it’s understood to have left Sterling feeling ‘shaken’ and deeply concerned for his family.

Will Sterling play against France?

Currently, Sterling is a doubt for England’s World Cup quarter-final match against France on Sunday. Manager Gareth Southgate has not ruled the Chelsea star out, although it’s uncertain when the player might return to Qatar for now.

“We’ve got to give him time to try to resolve that or be there for his family,” said Southgate of Sterling’s absence on Sunday.

“That’s the most important thing at this time. So we are going to give him that space.

“It didn’t impact team selection. I spent a lot of time with Raheem this morning. You know you have days where events happen, and you have to deal with them. He is on his way home, and we’re obviously mindful of him being allowed space and privacy respected so we aren’t going to talk in too much detail.

“Of course, it is not ideal for the group ahead of a big game, but it pales into insignificance. The individual is more important than the group in those moments. I needed to look after the situation and then I had to pass that onto others to deal with this afternoon in order to get him home.”

Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane, and Bukayo Saka were on target to seal England a 3-0 win over Senegal in the last-16 stage of the World Cup.