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Southgate confirms Sterling has left England World Cup squad after armed break-in at family home

17:20 GMT+4 05/12/2022
Raheem Sterling England World Cup 2022
Gareth Southgate has confirmed that Raheem Sterling has left England's World Cup squad after a reported armed break-in at the forward's family home.
  • Sterling started first two matches
  • Chelsea winger absent on Sunday
  • Armed intruders reportedly broke into home

WHAT HAPPENED? Sterling, who started England's first two matches in Qatar, was absent from the squad for their last 16 win over Senegal. As reported by BBC Sport, the 27-year-old is travelling back to London after a break-in by armed intruders at his family home.

WHAT WAS SAID? When asked whether Sterling will return to the World Cup in Qatar, Southgate told ITV Sport after the Senegal win: ''We’ve got to wait and see. 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. He’s going home. At the moment it’s a situation that 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.''

THE BIGGER PICTURE: England initially released a statement ahead of kick-off against Senegal confirming that Sterling had withdrawn from the squad. "Raheem Sterling is not available for selection for the #ThreeLions tonight as he is dealing with a family matter,'' the statement read. Sunday's game was the first time Sterling has not been in the starting XI for a knockout match at a major tournament since Euro 2012.

AND WHAT'S MORE: Police released a statement pertaining to the situation on Monday, saying: "We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.

"The occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items, including jewellery and watches, had been stolen. Enquiries to establish the circumstances are under way and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively."

WHAT NEXT FOR STERLING? It is unclear if Sterling will be available for selection for the quarter-finals, where England will take on 2018 World Cup winners France.