Chelsea and England forward Raheem Sterling is on his way to the UK after armed intruders broke into his London home on Saturday.
The 27-year-old winger didn’t take part in England’s 3-0 victory over Senegal on Sunday night, with sources close to the player describing him as being “shaken”.
The armed intruders broke into Sterling’s house in Surrey with his family, including his children, present.
England manager Gareth Southgate says Sterling is leaving the team in Qatar because he needs time with his family after the shocking incident.
“For the moment the priority is clearly for him to be with his family,” Southgate said.
“We’re obviously mindful of him being allowed space and his privacy respected, so we don’t want to talk in too much detail.
“We are going to support that and make sure he has as much time as he needs.”
Southgate confirms that he doesn’t know if Sterling will rejoin the squad in Qatar after dealing with the issue.
“At the moment it’s a situation where he needs time with his family 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 England coach added that Sterling’s departure didn’t impact his team selection.
“I spent a lot of time with Raheem this morning, so you have days where events happen and you have to deal with them.
“It’s not ideal for the group ahead of a big game, but it pales into insignificance because the individual is more important than the group in those moments, so we needed to look after the situation and then I had to pass that on to others this afternoon in order to get him home.”
England will take on France in the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA World Cup on December 10, and Raheem Sterling hopes to return only if the circumstances are right.
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