Thursday, 2 February, 2023
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World Cup in brief

Sterling to return home after armed break-in

Raheem Sterling will return home from England's World Cup camp in Qatar with doubts over whether he will return in time for Saturday's quarter-final against France.

The English Football Association confirmed the Chelsea forward was left out of Sunday's 3-0 win over Senegal to deal with "a family matter".

According to reports in the British media, Sterling's home was broken into by armed intruders while his family were in the property on Saturday night.

"At the moment clearly the priority is for him to be with his family. We're going to support that and leave him to have as much time as he needs," said England manager Gareth Southgate.

"Sometimes football isn't the most important thing and family should come first."

Sterling has been a key player for England during Southgate's six years in charge.

The 27-year-old has 20 goals in 81 caps for his country, including one at the 2022 World Cup in a 6-2 victory over Iran.

However, Sterling may have already been squeezed out of Southgate's starting line-up for the last eight even if he does return to Qatar by the fine form of Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden.