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Raheem Sterling returns to UK after hoodlums burgled family home

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Raheem Sterling has left the England World Cup squad in Qatar and returned to London after his home was burgled.

The 27-year-old missed Sunday’s 3-0 last-16 win over Senegal.

Surrey Police said the occupants returned home on Saturday evening and found jewellery and watches had been taken. No threats of violence were involved.

The player’s spokesperson said Sterling is “prioritising the wellbeing” of his three young children.

Speaking after Sunday’s match, England manager Gareth Southgate said: “Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing and family should come first.”

According to his spokesperson, Sterling was “shaken” by the news and “as soon as he was alerted he wanted to get home, concerned for the wellbeing of his children”.

Southgate added: “We want to give him that space and we will see over the next few days how that develops.”

Sterling’s spokesperson said on Sunday the intruders were armed and the family were home.

But in a statement on Monday, the police said: “We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead.

“The occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items, including jewellery and watches, had been stolen. Enquiries to establish the circumstances are under way and the investigation is ongoing.

“No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively.”

Speaking after the Senegal match, Sterling’s England team-mate Declan Rice said: “I saw him at breakfast this morning, then the manager said he had the difficulties at home so we’ve all sent him a message.”

England’s next match at the World Cup is against France in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Sterling is the second player to leave the England squad after Arsenal defender Ben White, who returned to the UK on 30 November for personal reasons.

Two years ago, three burglars who targeted a number of homes in the north west of England, including an attempted break-in where Sterling lived in Cheshire in November 2018, were jailed.

The Chelsea forward, 27, started and scored in England’s 6-2 win over Iran in their opening group game, before being called on again for the 0-0 draw with the United States.

Southgate opted instead to play Marcus Rashford and Phil Foden either side of Harry Kane for England’s 3-0 win over Wales.

The England boss has often relied on Sterling during major tournaments; he started all seven of England’s Euro 2020 matches.

 

 

Vincent Paul

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