Raheem Sterling will depart from England’s World Cup training camp in Qatar with uncertainties surrounding his ability to arrive in time for Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup with France.
The Chelsea forward was absent from Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Senegal, according to the English Football Association, due to “a family matter.”
British media reports claim that while Sterling’s family was inside the house on Saturday night, armed intruders broke in.
“At the moment clearly the priority is for him to be with his family. We’re going to support that and leave him to have as much time as he needs,” said England manager Gareth Southgate.
“At the moment it’s a situation he needs time with his family to deal with and I don’t want to put him under any pressure with that.
“Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.”
Throughout Southgate’s six years in command, Sterling has played a significant role for England.
The 27-year-old has scored 20 goals in 81 international matches for his nation, including one in a 6-2 triumph against Iran at the 2022 World Cup.
However, even if he does return to Qatar, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford, and Phil Foden may have already pushed Sterling out of Southgate’s starting lineup for the next eight games due to their outstanding play.
In the competition, Saka and Rashford have each scored three goals, and Foden contributed two assists in the easy victory over Senegal.
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