Sterling, Gomez have settled differences

Left: Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling (centre) has been dropped from England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro tomorrow after he and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez clashed during their training camp on Monday. Below: Joe Gomez, who also
Manchester City striker Raheem Sterling (centre) has been dropped from England's Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro tomorrow after he and Liverpool defender Joe Gomez clashed during their training camp on Monday.PHOTO: REUTERS
Joe Gomez, who also had an altercation with Sterling a day earlier during the Premier League match between their two sides at Anfield, was sporting a scar below his right eye during England's training session.
Joe Gomez, who also had an altercation with Sterling a day earlier during the Premier League match between their two sides at Anfield, was sporting a scar below his right eye during England's training session. PHOTO: REUTERS

City striker axed for England's match after scuffle with Liverpool man at training camp

LONDON • England's Raheem Sterling has conceded that emotions got the better of him in the bust-up with Joe Gomez at the national team's training camp, but said he was ready to move on after being dropped by the Football Association (FA).

The Daily Mail reported that Manchester City winger Sterling had clashed with Liverpool's Gomez after the England team got together at their Burton training centre on Monday - less than 24 hours after City lost 3-1 at Liverpool.

The pair had squared up in the latter stages of Sunday's Premier League clash after Gomez came on as a substitute.

"Both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on," Sterling said on his Instagram account.

"We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

"This is why we play this sport because of our love for it - me and @joegomez5 are good we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing... it's done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is.

"Let's get focus on our game on Thursday."

SPUR OF THE MOMENT

We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me.

This is why we play this sport because of our love for it - me and @joegomez5 are good.

RAHEEM STERLING, Manchester City striker, on his clash with Joe Gomez in the canteen at England's training camp.

The FA has decided to drop him from tomorrow's Euro 2020 qualifier at home against Montenegro, saying in a statement it was a result of a "disturbance in a private team area".

The Mail reported that "Sterling attempted to grab Gomez by the neck following his arrival in the players' canteen".

The forward had allegedly sat down when the Reds defender tried to offer a handshake, before the heated exchange erupted.

The Mirror claimed that Sterling took issue with Gomez's actions and asked if he was "still the big man".

The rest of the England squad were understood to have thought the duo were joking around, before they had to eventually jump in to end the physical confrontation.

The FA statement, which said Sterling will remain with the squad, did not address the specifics of the dispute or confirm if Gomez was the other party, but England boss Gareth Southgate linked the incident to Sunday's clash.

"We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday," he said in the statement.

"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 (Sunday'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."

Sterling, who has scored 12 goals in 55 England appearances, has been one of the first-team regulars under Southgate and scored twice in last month's 6-0 win over Bulgaria.

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, League Cup and FA Cup.

England top Group A with 15 points from six games and will guarantee a place at the Euro 2020 Finals with a draw tomorrow. They face another qualifier on Sunday away to Kosovo in which Sterling could feature.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 13, 2019, with the headline 'Sterling, Gomez have settled differences'. Print Edition | Subscribe