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England star sorry for ’embarrassing’ COVID breach after being dropped from squad

Written by on 8 September 2020

Footballer Mason Greenwood has apologised for breaking coronavirus guidelines after he was dropped from the England squad.

Greenwood, 18, and his England teammate Phil Foden, 20, are thought to have invited two local women back to their hotel room in Reykjavik, Iceland.

The FA launched a full investigation, and manager Gareth Southgate said they had been sent back to England separately and banned from playing in tonight’s match against Denmark.

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Image:
Mason Greenwood (R) and Phil Foden both missed training on Monday morning

Greenwood, who plays his club football for Manchester United, described his behaviour as “embarrassing”, “irresponsible” and a “huge mistake”.

He said in a statement on Tuesday: “Having now had the chance to reflect on what’s happened, I can only apologise to everyone for the embarrassment I have caused.

“It was irresponsible of me to break the COVID-19 protocols which are in place to protect players, staff and the public.

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“In particular, I want to apologise to Gareth Southgate, for letting him down when he had shown great trust in me.

“Playing for England was one of the proudest moments in my life and I only have myself to blame for this huge mistake.

“I promise my family, the fans, Manchester United and England that this is a lesson I will learn from.”

COLOGNE, GERMANY - AUGUST 10: (BILD ZEITUNG OUT) Mason Greenwood of Manchester United controls the ball during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final between Manchester United and FC Kobenhavn at RheinEnergieStadion on August 10, 2020 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Image:
Greenwood starred for Manchester United last season

Southgate said Greenwood and Foden had “broken coronavirus guidance in terms of our secure bubble” and missed training on Monday.

He told a press conference: “They’ve been naive.

“I recognise their age, but the whole world is dealing with this pandemic and there’s responsibility on every age group in playing their part and not spreading the virus. They have apologised.”

Police in Iceland told Sky Sports News the pair have been fined 250,000 Icelandic Krona (GBP1,360) for the rule breach, which must be paid by them and not their clubs.

According to Icelandic newspaper DV, a video shared on social media shows the two England players breaking the team's COVID-19 rules

According to Icelandic newspaper DV, a video shared on social media shows the two England players breaking the team’s COVID-19 rules

Foden, who plays for Manchester City, issued an apology on Twitter yesterday.

He posted: “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.”