Sterling misses England game after armed intruders raid family home
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Raheem Sterling missed England's impressive win over Senegal for family reasons
Raheem Sterling missed England's impressive win over Senegal for family reasons

Raheem Sterling reportedly missed England's World Cup last-16 match against Senegal after travelling back to England following a raid by armed intruders on his home.

The Chelsea forward was absent from Gareth Southgate's squad for the 3-0 win over the Africa Cup of Nations champions on Sunday.

England officials put it down to "a family matter" before kick-off and it remains to be seen whether Sterling travels back to Qatar in time to feature in the quarter-final against France next Saturday.

The BBC reported the break-in at 27-year-old Sterling's London home occurred on Saturday night.

Manager Gareth Southgate said after England's victory: "Raheem is having to deal with a family situation. He's going back to England. 

"We have to give him time to try to resolve that, or be there for his family. That’s the most important thing. We are going to give him that space.

"It didn't impact team selection. I spent a lot of time with Raheem this morning, so you have days where events happen and you have to deal with them. 

"He's on his way home. We are obviously mindful of him being allowed space and respect his privacy, so we don't want to talk about it in too much detail.

"It's not ideal for the group ahead of the big game, but it pales into insignificance – the individual is more important than the group in these moments."

England's opening goalscorer Jordan Henderson told ITV: "I hope everything's OK with Raheem's family at home and I hope he goes back and can sort everything out. 

"Hopefully he can then come back, but I suppose he'll have to assess when he gets there. All our thoughts and support is with him."

England defender Eric Dier added: "We all wish him and his family well. We hope everyone's OK.

"I just found out before the game. I don't know more than that, just wish him all the best."

Midfielder Declan Rice indicated the day had begun as any other, with Sterling in camp.

He said: "I literally saw him at breakfast this morning and then the manager said he's had some difficulty with his family at home. 

"We'll send him a message and wait to hear more."

Sterling's Chelsea team-mate Kalidou Koulibaly, who captained Senegal tonight, was unaware of the reports.

He said: "Really? I didn't know. I really didn't know, I'm really surprised.

"I hope that his family is good. Now I will call him and see what happened, I just hope he is good and his family is good."

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