Joe Gomez: England defender trains with scratch below right eye following Raheem Sterling row

Sterling will play no part in Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro

Mark Critchley
Tuesday 12 November 2019 12:28

Raheem Sterling and Joe Gomez both took part in an England training session on Tuesday morning despite their confrontation the previous day.

Gomez appeared to have a small scratch near his right eye as he emerged at St George's Park ahead of Thursday's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro.

Sterling will play no part in the Montenegro game following his role in the incident, though he remains part of Gareth Southgate's squad and could face Kosovo on Sunday.

The pair clashed during the closing stages of Liverpool’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City at Anfield, on what was a frustrating afternoon for Sterling and his City team-mates.

It is understood that tensions had not eased when they reported for international duty the following day, with Sterling confronting Gomez in the St George's Park canteen.

The Football Association confirmed late on Monday night that due to ”a disturbance in a private team area”, Sterling would sit out of Thursday’s game.

Sterling is understood to have apologised to Gomez and released a statement in the early hours of Tuesday morning insisting that both players had “moved forward”.

“First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me,” said Sterling – who made an acrimonious move from Liverpool to City in 2015 – on Instagram.

“Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point, 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. We move, this is why we play this sport because of our love for it.

“Me and Joe Gomez 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. Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday.”

Southgate said emotions were still “raw” following Sunday’s game at Anfield and that the decision to drop Sterling for Thursday had been agreed by “the entire squad”.

“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team,” he said. “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.”

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments