Sterling out of England match after 'disturbance'

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Raheem Sterling has been ruled out of England’s next Euro 2020 qualifier as a result of a “disturbance” at the team’s training centre, the FA has announced.

“We can confirm Raheem Sterling will not be considered for England’s EURO 2020 qualifier against Montenegro as a result of a disturbance in a private team area at St. George’s Park today. He will remain with the squad,” the FA said in a statement on Monday.

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England boss Gareth Southgate said that emotions were still running high in the England camp after Liverpool’s crucial 3-1 Premier League win over Manchester City on Sunday, but that his team would cope in the City forward Sterling’s absence.

“We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday,” he said.

“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.

“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”

Southgate has called up four Liverpool players for England’s latest round of qualifiers — Joe Gomez, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain — while Sterling and John Stones have been included from Man City.

Sterling has become a key player for England in the past year after being criticised for his displays at the 2018 World Cup.

Last season he was named Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association after scoring 25 goals in all competitions as City won a domestic treble of the Premier League title and the two Cup competitions.

For England, Sterling has scored 12 goals in 55 games but has been a regular under Southgate and scored twice in the recent 6-0 win away to Bulgaria.

England, who top Group A with 15 points from six matches, will host Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday, Nov. 14 before travelling to Kosovo three days later.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

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