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Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden: England duo out of Denmark game after coronavirus rule breach

Greenwood and Foden to travel back to England; both players have “apologised for their serious lack of judgement”; watch Denmark vs England live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Tuesday; kick-off at 7.45pm

Last Updated: 07/09/20 5:02pm









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England manager Gareth Southgate says Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been sent home after breaching coronavirus protocols

England manager Gareth Southgate says Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been sent home after breaching coronavirus protocols

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden will not travel with the England squad from Iceland to Denmark after breaching UEFA’s coronavirus protocols, Gareth Southgate has confirmed.

The FA is investigating media reports in Iceland that Greenwood and Foden broke quarantine rules while at their team hotel in Reykjavik.

Iceland’s police force has confirmed to Sky Sports News the players have each been fined 250,000 Icelandic Krona (£1,300) for the rule breach, which must be paid by the individuals themselves and not by the FA or their clubs.

Southgate confirmed the pair broke coronavirus secure bubble guidelines and have been sent back to England, without contact with any other players since Monday morning.

“Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble.

“We had to decide very quickly that they could not have any interaction with the team, wouldn’t be able to train. Given the procedures we have to follow now, they have to travel back to England separately.”

Southgate said the breach had occurred outside of the part of the hotel the FA has booked for the England squad.

“Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the team hotel,” he insisted.

“We are still getting to the depths of all the information because it was only brought to my attention only a couple of hours before training, I am still getting to grips with some of the detail.

Greenwood and Foden missed England's open training session on Monday morning

Greenwood and Foden missed England’s open training session on Monday morning

“What is clear is that there was a breach of the coronavirus guidelines. We spent such a long time getting those measures in place, the whole squad followed that together.

“We have had four tests in the period we have been together. Our staff have been incredible in keeping that secure and tight.

“In that respect we have no alternative but to do what we are doing.”

An FA spokesperson said: “Whilst in Iceland, both Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood spent time outside of our private team area, which was a breach of our COVID-19 rules.

“While they did not leave the team hotel, it was an unacceptable breach of our protocol. They have both apologised for their serious lack of judgement.

4:56
Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden will not travel with the England squad from Iceland to Denmark after breaching UEFA’s coronavirus protocols, as Rob Dorsett reports

Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden will not travel with the England squad from Iceland to Denmark after breaching UEFA’s coronavirus protocols, as Rob Dorsett reports

“The FA will be launching a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to this breach. We have spoken to the Football Association of Iceland to offer our apologies for this incident and to ensure them that we are taking the appropriate steps.

“We have also assured the Danish Football Union that all other players and staff members have been isolated within our group throughout this period.”

Southgate believes the game against Denmark is not in any danger of being called off because of how staff followed guidelines and restricted access for Foden and Greenwood from the rest of the team.

Denmark vs England

September 8, 2020, 7:00pm

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“We are very clear that no other members of our party have been in contact with those players. That’s why they couldn’t join us for breakfast or training. We followed the guidelines,” he said.

“It is a very serious situation and we have treated it that way and acted as quickly as we have been able to. They have been naive and we have dealt with it appropriately. The whole world is dealing with this pandemic and every age group has a responsibility in keeping each other safe.”

The pair were the only players absent as Southgate took his final tactical session at the Laugardalsvollur Stadium in Reykjavik before Tuesday’s game.

Both players made their full international debuts in Saturday’s 1-0 Nations League over Iceland.

Southgate will have a 21-man squad to choose from for the game in Copenhagen, which is live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Tuesday, with Kyle Walker suspended after receiving a red card in Reykjavik.

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Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand says the relevant authorities will be in contact with UEFA to ensure Tuesday’s game against England can go ahead without concern

Denmark boss Kasper Hjulmand says the relevant authorities will be in contact with UEFA to ensure Tuesday’s game against England can go ahead without concern

Denmark manager: It’s not a good situation

Denmark remain hopeful the England game will go ahead but will speak to UEFA ahead of Tuesday’s meeting.

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand says they will accept whatever outcome is decided.

“It’s not a good situation,” Hjulmand said. “The Danish FA will take care of this and look into it. The protocols are very strict and we will accept whatever UEFA comes up with. If they think it is a good idea to keep going then of course we will. We hope we can play this game.

“It’s very important that we stay within the protocols that we have been given. It’s about football and the survival of football, being able to play is very important.

“There’s been a lot going on so that we can actually play these matches so we have to be focussed.”

Man Utd and Man City condemn Greenwood and Foden behaviour

Greenwood and Foden both made their England debuts on Saturday against Iceland

Greenwood and Foden both made their England debuts on Saturday against Iceland

Manchester United say they are are liaising with the FA and are “disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation”.

The club will wait to discover if Greenwood will have to enter a 14-day quarantine on his return to England and will make a decision on his eligibility to return to training in due course.

Meanwhile, Manchester City say Foden’s “inappropriate” behaviour falls below the club’s standards and the club support the FA regarding the incident.

“It is clear that Phil’s actions were totally inappropriate,” City said in a statement.

“His behaviour not only directly contravenes strict guidelines related to Covid-19, but also falls well below the standard expected of a Manchester City player and England international.

“The club supports the FA regarding this incident, and officials from the club are now in touch in relation to Phil’s enforced early return to the UK.

“We have no further comment to make on this matter.”

How to watch Nations League on Sky Sports

You will be able to watch all 162 Nations League matches live on Sky Sports – plus the semi-finals, third-place play-off and final. Games will be shown across our main channels and via the red button.

For a full rundown of Nations League fixtures and where to watch them on Sky Sports head to our fixture page.

If you’re out and about, you can follow all of those Home Nations games on the Sky Sports website and app, where we’ll have minute-by-minute updates and show you the goals as they go in.

We’ll also have highlights of every game involving the Home Nations and the best of the other Nations League fixtures available too.

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