Why Raheem Sterling left Qatar for England in a hurry prior to Senegal match

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Raheem Sterling, Qatar, England, Senegal match, robbery, 2022 Qatar World Cup
Sterling embraces Southgate after being substituted against Iran. PHOTO: Alamy

Why Raheem Sterling left Qatar for England in a hurry prior to Senegal match

Raheem Sterling was the victim of a robbery at his London home while with the England national team in Qatar.

The Chelsea winger was not available for Sunday’s 3-0 victory over Senegal at the World Cup.

England manager Gareth Southgate confirmed Sterling’s absence in a pre-match press conference was down to a ‘family matter’.

Sterling has returned to the United Kingdom to check on the well-being of his family following a robbery, per the Daily Telegraph.

The robbery happened on Saturday evening, the night prior to England booking their place in the quarter-finals.

Raheem Sterling flies back from World Cup after robbers break into his home. PHOTO: Alamy & Raheem Sterling/Instagram

A further report from the BBC claimed the intruders were armed.

Sterling, who started England’s first two games against Iran and the USMNT, scoring in the latter, remains committed to the Three Lions’ bid to win their first trophy since 1966.

The 27-year-old intends to return to Qatar as long as he can. Southgate was asked about Sterling’s withdrawal in his post-match interview with ITV.

Sterling scored one goal at this year’s World Cup. PHOTO: Alamy
When quizzed on Sterling returning to the squad, Southgate replied: “We’ve got 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 and leave him to have as much time as we need. He’s going home.”

England will face reigning world champions France in the quarter-finals on Saturday evening. Sterling has been a key player for Southgate since becoming manager in 2016.

When asked if the four-time Premier League player will be back to face France, Southgate continued: “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 with that. “Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.”

Goals from Jordan Henderson, Harry Kane and Bukayo Saka were enough to secure England’s biggest win at the World Cup knockout stage since 2002.

Southgate opted to play Phil Foden and Saka on either side of captain Kane, which paid off to great success.

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