Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood: why the players were dropped from England team after inviting girls to Iceland hotel - and how they apologised

Both players were dropped from Gareth Southgate’s squad to face Denmark
Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were dropped from the England squad (Getty Images)Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were dropped from the England squad (Getty Images)
Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were dropped from the England squad (Getty Images)

Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have both issued apologies after they breached social distancing rules during the international break.

The young duo had been due to take part in England’s Nations League fixture with Denmark but both have since been removed from the England squad following allegations in the Icelandic media that both men spent time with two women during their trip to Iceland.

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The Football Association (FA) has now launched a full investigation into the allegations.

Gareth Southgate confirmed the news on Monday confirming that both men had been removed from the squad.

He said: "It's a very serious situation and we have treated it that way and have acted as quickly as we have been able to.

"We have dealt with it appropriately. I recognise their age but the whole world is dealing with this pandemic."

What happened?

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Reports in Icelandic media allege that both men met up with two women in a hotel where the England squad were staying. Gareth Southgate has since said that the two men didn’t meet with women in a part of the hotel where the England team were staying.

The Football Association have since confirmed the meeting.

In a strongly worded statement it said: "whilst in Iceland, both Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood spent time outside of our private team area, which was a breach of our Covid-19 rules.

"While they did not leave the team hotel, it was an unacceptable breach of our protocol. They have both apologised for their serious lack of judgement."

Pictures taken by an unidentified individual apparently showing Foden and Greenwood in a hotel room were leaked on social media.

Widely condemned

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Few leapt to the defence of the young duo for their apparent flagrant breach of social distancing rules.

The club’s of both players condemned their actions with Man City describing Foden’s behaviour as "totally inappropriate" which "fell well below the standard expected of a Manchester City player and England international".

Man United meanwhile said the club are "liaising with the Football Association and are disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood".

Ex-footballer and boxer Curtis Woodhouse called for leniency putting down their behaviour to youth.

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Woodhouse tweeted: “Give them a break, a couple of young lads made a mistake. Case closed”.

Did the players apologise?

Manchester United striker Mason Greenwood issued an apology on Tuesday morning, promising to learn from his mistake.

He said: “Playing for England was one of the proudest moments in my life and I only have myself to blame for this huge mistake.

“I promise my family, the fans, Manchester United and England that this is a lesson I will learn from.”

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Phil Foden also made a public apology condemning his own actions.

In a statement posted on social media he said: “Following the story which has emerged today regarding my actions in Iceland, I want to make a full apology.

“I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England teammates, to the staff, supporters, and also to my club and my family.

“When I was called up by Gareth for these games, my first reaction was that of immense pride.

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He added: “on this occasion I made a poor decision and my behaviour didn’t meet the standards expected of me.

“I breached COVID-19 protocols put in place to protect myself and my England colleagues. As a consequence I will now miss the opportunity to travel to Denmark with the squad, and that hurts.

“I will learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgement and I wish Gareth and the team good luck this week.”