Raheem Sterling is leaving the England World Cup squad in Qatar to return to England after armed intruders broke into his home on Saturday.
He believed his family were at home during the incident in Surrey.
Sterling was understandably shaken by the news and decided to leave the tournament in Qatar so that he could be with his family.
Sources close to the player say there is no change in Sterling’s unwavering commitment to England and that only the well-being of his family could get him to leave the tournament at such a pivotal time.
The 27-year-old could still decide to return to Qatar if the circumstances are right.
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England said shortly before the round of 16 match against Senegal, which England won 3-0, that Sterling was not available for selection due to a “family matter”.
Southgate confirmed after the win, which set up a quarter-final with France on Saturday, that Sterling would be returning to the UK.
He said: “For the moment the priority is clearly for him to be with his family.
“We are going to support that and make sure he has as much time as he needs.”
Asked if Sterling could eventually rejoin the squad in Qatar, he added: “I really don’t know.
At the moment it’s a situation where he needs time with his family 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.”
Captain Harry Kane, who scored the second goal in the win, added: “Our thoughts are with him and his family. We’ll have to take it day by day.
“We send him our best and hope to see him as soon as possible.”
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(Photo: Getty Images)