Phil Foden sorry for 'poor decision' after being dropped for breaching coronavirus rules

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rachel Younger

Footballer Phil Foden has apologised for his "a poor decision" after he and teammate Mason Greenwood breached England's coronavirus guidelines.

The pair will no longer travel to Denmark with the rest of the squad for Tuesday’s Nations League match, manager Gareth Southgate has said.

In a post on Twitter, Foden referenced his "actions in Iceland" adding: "I want to make a full apology".

"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," he wrote.

Adding: "On this occasion I made a poor decision and my behaviour didn't meet the standards expected of me."

Manager Southgate confirmed Monday: "Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that two boys have broken the Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble and we had to decide very quickly that they couldn’t have any interaction with the team or travel to training.

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

He described the pair as "naive".

Southgate added: "I recognise their age but of course the whole world are dealing with this pandemic and there is a responsibility on every age group that they play their part on keeping each other safe and not spreading the virus."

Manchester City midfielder Foden and the Manchester United forward Greenwood made their debuts on the England squad in the match against Iceland on Saturday.

Both of their teams have condemned their players behaviour.

Allegations emerged in the Icelandic media outlet DV on Monday that the pair were visited by two local women during the trip.

Southgate added: “Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the hotel.

"We are still getting to the depths of all the information because this was only brought to my attention a couple of hours before training, so I’m still getting to grips with the detail."

England manager Gareth Southgate Credit: PA

“What is clear is there is a breach of the Covid-19 guidelines.

"The whole squad have really followed that to the letter. I’m not going into any more details until I’m aware of everything.

“We’ve spent a long time putting the guidelines in place, and the whole squad have followed that to the letter.

“We’ve had four tests in the period we’ve been together, our staff have done an incredible job of keeping it secure and tight, which was so important both to get the games played and also for the safety and security of our team and staff.

“So in that respect we have no alternative but to do what we are doing.”

Asked whether there is a question mark over whether the match in Copenhagen will still go ahead, Southgate said: “We are very clear that no other members of our party have been in contact with those two players.

Gareth Southgate. Credit: Steven Paston/PA

“That’s why they couldn’t go to breakfast this morning or join us for training. We are very clear we have followed all the guidelines in that regard.

“It’s a very serious situation and we have treated it that way and acted as quickly as we have been able to.”

Manchester City said in a statement: “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."

Manchester United said of Mr Greenwood: “We are liaising with the Football Association and are disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation.”

The Football Association vowed to launch a “full investigation” into the circumstances leading up to the breach."We have spoken to the Football Association of Iceland to offer our apologies for this incident and to ensure them that we are taking the appropriate steps.“We have also assured the Danish Football Union that all other players and staff members have been isolated within our group throughout this period.“Our immediate priority now is preparing the team for the match against Denmark tomorrow.”