Contrite England midfielder Phil Foden apologises after being sent home with Mason Greenwood
Phil Foden has issued an apology after he and Mason Greenwood were sent home by England for what Gareth Southgate called a “very serious” breach of coronavirus regulations - as the Football Association announced a full investigation into the incident.
Within 48 hours of making their Three Lions debut against Iceland, the Manchester City playmaker and Manchester United forward are having to leave the camp after breaching the strict bio-bubble in Reykjavik.
Allegations emerged in the Icelandic media on Monday that Foden and Greenwood had spent time with two girls during the trip, with media outlet DV publishing purported footage filmed by one of them.
With an FA investigation now hanging over the pair, Foden issued an apology via Twitter and vowed to “learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgement”.
“I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England team-mates, to the staff, supporters and also to my club and my family,” he wrote.
“I am a young player with a lot to learn, but I am aware of the huge responsibility I have in representing Manchester City and England at this level.
“On this occasion I made a poor decision and my behaviour didn’t meet the standards expected of me.
“I breached Covid-19 protocols put in place to protect myself and my England colleagues. As a consequence I will now miss the opportunity to travel to Denmark with the squad, and that hurts.
“I will learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgement and I wish Gareth and the team good luck this week.”
Southgate refused to confirm the exact nature of the breach but underlined England’s rapid response when it became clear that the duo had jeopardised the stringent Covid-19 measures.
“Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble,” the England boss said.
“And so we had to decide very quickly that they couldn’t have any interaction with the rest of the team, wouldn’t be able to travel to training.
“Given the procedures that we have to follow now, they’ll have to travel back to England separately.”
Asked if the pair had put Tuesday’s Nations League clash against Denmark in jeopardy, Southgate said: “We’re very clear that no other members of our party have been in contact with those two players.
“That’s why they couldn’t go to breakfast this morning, they couldn’t join us for training, so we’re very clear that we have followed all the guidelines in that regard.
“It’s a very serious situation and we have treated it that way and have acted as quickly as we have been able to.”
The FA has vowed to fully investigate the circumstances leading up to the breach in Reykjavik.