England manager Gareth Southgate has confirmed why Raheem Sterling left the Qatar World Cup after his home was targeted by armed robbers.
The Chelsea winger didn't feature in England's 3-0 win against Senegal last night (4 December) due to the incident, which occurred on Saturday (3 December).
Sterling's family were believed to have been inside the home when intruders broke in and Southgate addressed the incident in an interview.
The manager confirmed the incident post match, as he told ITV: "We’re going to allow him to have as much time as he needs. He’s going home, yeah. I really don’t know because at the moment it’s a situation that he needs time with his family to deal with and I don’t want to put him under any pressure.
"Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first."
When asked if Sterling would return to the World Cup, Southgate added: "We will have to wait and see.
"At the moment, clearly the priority is for him to be with his family and we’re going to support that."
In a press conference after the game, the manager also told reporters: “Raheem, as the FA statement says, is having to deal with a family situation, so he’s going back to England.
“We’ve got to give him time to try to resolve that or be there for his family.
"That’s the most important thing at this time, so we’re going to give him that space.
“I spent a lot of time with Raheem this morning, but you know you have days where events happen and you have to deal with them.
“He’s on his way home and, yeah, we’re obviously mindful of him being allowed space and (having) privacy respected, so we don’t want to talk in too much detail.”
England captain Harry Kane, who was man of the match against Senegal, said: "Our thoughts are with him and his family.
"It is a private matter with him, but it’s never easy to see one or your teammates and friends have to deal with something like that.
"We will take it day by day and take the best decision for him and his family.
"From us as a team we send him our best and hope to see him as soon as possible."
Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker also tweeted his support: "Thoughts are with (Raheem Sterling) and his family after their awful and harrowing ordeal."
Following England's emphatic win against Senegal, they will now face France in the quarter finals of the World Cup.Featured Image Credit: ITV / Mark Pain / Alamy Stock Photo