Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho will miss England’s friendly against Wales at Wembley on Thursday after they breached Covid-19 regulations at the weekend, manager Gareth Southgate said on Wednesday.
Chilwell and Sancho attended a party for Abraham’s 23rd birthday in London on Saturday.
The event was reportedly organised as a surprise but broke the “rule of six”, which is one of the government’s guidelines banning people in England from mixing in groups of over six to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Southgate told a news conference that they miss the game with Wales, if they are not able to be with us by Friday morning, they will miss the game with Belgium.
We just have to make sure to protect the whole group. The timelines are really complex and we have to manage that as best we can.
Southgate said he spoke to the trio about the responsibility of being England players.
Southgate added that I think the players have already accepted they were in the wrong. I have to be careful being on my moral ground when we are not in camp with the team.
Southgate added, there was no mention of their clubs when the story broke. Whether they have one cap or 50 caps, it takes a lot of energy and time away from the team. The players in camp are 100% focused on the game.
If you are going into major tournament and it happens, then they can bother you. That did not happen in Russia and it allowed us to focus on our football.
The Wales games will be followed by Nations League games at home to Belgium and Denmark.
Southgate said, we have one match in my mind and that is Wales tomorrow. Our focus on this game is the same as any other game. We know there is no such thing as a friendly.
I would be disappointed if anybody felt England’s players were less eager playing in a game like this than the Welsh. We have to go and show that.