Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood axed for FOUR England games after disgraced Man City and Utd stars broke Covid rules



Posted Tuesday, September 08, 2020 by Thesun.co.uk

AXED England stars Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood will miss FOUR upcoming internationals after being sent home in disgrace.

The Manchester City and Man Utd stars arrived back in the UK last night after being dumped from Gareth Southgate's squad for Tuesday's clash with Denmark.

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood axed for FOUR England games after disgraced Man City and Utd stars broke Covid rules

Foden, 20, also issued a grovelling apology for the ‘unacceptable’ breach of Covid-19 rules when the duo met two girls in the team’s hotel in Iceland on Sunday night.

The ‘naive’ pair, who made their Three Lions debuts in the 1-0 win in Reykjavik 24 hours earlier, were fined £1,360 each by local police. 

The FA also launched an investigation and apologised to Iceland chiefs.

The pair will miss tonight’s Nations League clash in Copenhagen and the Covidiots are also set to be kicked out of the England squad for three games next month.

Foden and Greenwood, 18, were sent back to their clubs with both sides fuming with the conduct of their stars.

One of the girls, model Nadia Sif Lindal Gunnarsdottir, 20, has revealed how she had been chatting with Greenwood before his trip to Iceland.

She and her 19-year-old cousin Lara Clausen visited the hotel on Sunday, telling The Mail: “We met online. I was talking to Mason for a couple of days before they came to Iceland.

“They did know that they had to quarantine, but we figured that since they were playing Iceland, they had been tested before and it would be OK.”

Nadia added: “We haven't spoken to them since. We don't want to interrupt them because they are of course going through a lot right now. They haven't contacted us.

“It was a good night that we had, of course. We were all the four of us spending time together and getting to know each other. They were nice guys. Really, really nice.”

Lara added: “They were just young. We were all young and stupid and we all make mistakes. They treated us really well. They were such gentlemen. Really nice guys.”

Foden issued a grovelling apology on Twitter on Monday, saying: “I want to make a full apology. I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England team-mates, to the staff, supporters, and also to my club and my family.

“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 will learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgment.”

Greenwood, 18, appeared to deactivate his Twitter account yesterday.

Foden and Greenwood now face the devastating prospect of putting their Euro 2020 chances at risk.

They certainly look set to miss the October 8 friendly against Wales followed by the Nations League clashes with Belgium and Denmark.

Boss Southgate, who barred the players from breakfast and training to protect his remaining 21-man squad, said: “It’s a very serious situation and we have acted as quickly as we have been able to.

“They have been naive. Everybody has to understand their responsibility.”

England Under-21 boss Aidy Boothroyd, whose side take on Austria tonight, added: “I’m surprised and disappointed. We’ll be having a conversation about it.”

According to sources from Iceland including newspaper DV, the two girls posted photographs of Greenwood and Foden to Snapchat.

In the video, one girl can be heard saying: "Casual Sunday here with *****. She was booking a hotel to meet who?"

The other one answered: "Mason Greenwood, and I'm nervous. Very f****** nervous."

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood axed for FOUR England games after disgraced Man City and Utd stars broke Covid rules
The stars have been kicked out of the England squad for breaching Covid rules

Southgate confirmed the pair will NOT play in the match against Denmark on Tuesday.

Speaking to the media, he said: "Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention two guys have broken the covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble and so we had to decide very quickly they could not have any interaction with the team and could not travel to training.

"Given the procedures we have to follow they will have to travel back to separately."

When asked if they had invited two girls to their hotel, Southgate replied: "Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the hotel.

"We are still getting to the depths of the information. I am still getting to grips with the details but what is clear there was a breach of the covid guidelines.

"We have spent such a long time getting the measures in place and the whole squad have followed that.

"We have had four tests since we have been together and the staff have done an incredible job to keep it safe and tight.

"In that respect we had no alternative to do what we are doing.

"I am not going into any more detail. No-one from outside our party has been in the hotels we occupy."

When asked about punishing the pair for breaching the rules, Southgate said: "All of those things are too early until I have all the information."

Greenwood and Foden travelled together on a private flight back to Manchester after speaking with local police regarding their Covid rule-breaking.

The pair were fined £1,300 by Icelandic authorities for their breach of quarantine rules.

Before returning home, Foden broke his silence with a statement on social media - while Greenwood has DELETED his Twitter account.

Foden's full statement said: "Following the story which has emerged today regarding my actions in Iceland, I want to make a full apology.

"I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England team mates, to the staff, supporters, and also to my Club and my family.

"When I was called up by Gareth for these games, my first reaction was that of immense pride.

"To pull on that shirt for the senior team in my England debut was an incredible privilege.

"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."

Both Man City and United have also both condemned the actions of their respective players.

England's squad were exempt from Iceland's quarantine guidelines, but they had to abide by strict rules while in the country.

Gareth Southgate's men were not allowed to meet anyone outside of their bubble.

According to DV's source, the players would not have even been allowed to see their families if they had travelled to the match.

The girls refused to comment on their evening with the England stars when asked by DV.

They said: "We do not want to discuss this. We don't want to get them in trouble."

However, she stated that she had been in contact with one of the England stars for a few days.

She added: "The only thing I can say is that I had been in touch with one of them for a few days. I'm not going to say how."

Foden became a dad when he was 18 years old and is in a relationship with long-term partner Rebecca Cooke.

A statement from Manchester City read: "It is clear that Phil’s actions were totally inappropriate. 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 #MCFC".

Greenwood is believed to be single following his split from model Harriet Robson in April.

United's statement confirmed the club are in talks with the FA.

It read: "Manchester United are liaising with the Football Association and are disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation."



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