Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood sent home after breaching quarantine rules in Iceland

Neither player appeared for England training on Monday morning

Lawrence Ostlere
Monday 07 September 2020 16:59
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England duo Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been sent home after breaching coronavirus protocols while on England duty in Iceland.

Both Manchester City midfielder Foden, 20, and Manchester United forward Greenwood, 18, made their England debuts during Saturday’s 1-0 win over Iceland in the Nations League. However neither player appeared for training on Monday morning following the emergence of images published by Icelandic outlet DV which appeared to show them with some women in a hotel room.

The squad remains in Iceland before traveling to Copenhagen ahead of Tuesday night’s game against Denmark. Players were given strict guidelines to ensure their safety and to meet Icelandic rules preventing Covid-19’s spread. 

Speaking to the media in Reykjavik on Monday, the England manager Gareth Southgate said both players had been “naive”.

“It was brought to my attention that two boys have broken Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble and so we had to decide very quickly that they couldn’t have any interaction with the team,” said Southgate. "Given the procedures we have to follow now, they have to travel back to England separately.

“They’ve been naive. There’s responsibility on every age group in this pandemic. They’ve apologised. Nothing happened in the areas we occupy in the hotel.”

He added: “Unfortunately for the two boys there’s going to be a lot of judgement from afar. They understand their responsibilities and that they got this wrong.”

Manchester City put out a strong statement condemning Foden’s actions. "It is clear that Phil’s actions were totally inappropriate. His behaviour not only directly contravenes strict guidelines related to Covid-19, but also falls well below the standard expected of a Man City player and England international."

United said: “Manchester United are liaising with the Football Association and are disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation.”

The Football Association is currently investigating the incident.

In a statement, an FA spokesperson said: "Whilst in Iceland, both Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood spent time outside of our private team area, which was a breach of our COVID-19 rules.

"While they did not leave the team hotel, it was an unacceptable breach of our protocol. They have both apologised for their serious lack of judgement.

"The FA will be launching a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to this breach. We have spoken to the Football Association of Iceland to offer our apologies for this incident and to ensure them that we are taking the appropriate steps.

"We have also assured the Danish Football Union that all other players and staff members have been isolated within our group throughout this period.

"Our immediate priority now is preparing the team for the match against Denmark tomorrow."

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