After armed burglars broke into Raheem Sterling’s home while his family was inside, he decided to come home to London from the England World Cup squad in Qatar.
Manager Gareth Southgate announced the news following Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Senegal in the round of 16.
Southgate emphasized the importance of putting family before football.
The event apparently took place late on a Saturday. Sterling has three little children.
According to a spokesperson for the player, Sterling was “shaken” by the news, and “as soon as he was alerted, he wanted to hurry home, anxious for the well-being of his children.”
A teammate of Sterling’s, Declan Rice, remarked after the Senegal game, “I saw him at breakfast this morning then the manager said he had the difficulties at home so we’ve all sent him a message.”
In the quarterfinals of the World Cup this Saturday, England will face France.
Sterling is the second player to leave the England squad, following Arsenal defender Ben White, who returned to the UK for personal reasons on November 30.
In November of 2018, three burglars attempted to break into Sterling’s then-Cheshire residence before being caught and subsequently incarcerated.
The 27-year-old Chelsea striker started and scored in England’s 6-2 win over Iran in the opening group game and was also used in the team’s 0-0 draw with the United States.
For England’s 3-0 victory over Wales, Southgate instead started Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden alongside Harry Kane.
The England manager has depended heavily on Sterling in major competitions, and he started all seven of England’s matches at Euro 2020.