Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood have been dropped from the England squad after breaching quarantine rules by inviting women to the team hotel in Iceland.

Foden, 20, and Greenwood, 18, made their senior international debuts in Saturday’s 1-0 UEFA Nations League win over Iceland.

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Icelandic website 433.is reported on Monday the pair then brought two women back to the England hotel on Sunday, breaking strict isolation rules in the country regarding COVID-19.

This prompted manager Gareth Southgate to omit both players from England’s Monday afternoon flight from Reykjavik to Copenhagen, where they will play Denmark on Tuesday evening.

“Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the COVID guidelines in terms of our secure bubble. They couldn’t have interaction with the rest of the team,” Southgate said at a news conference.

“Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the hotel. We are still getting the depths of the information. Still getting to grips with the detail. We have spent such a long time getting measures in place and the whole squad followed that to the letter.

“I’m not going into any more details until I’m clear of everything. No-one from outside the hotel has been into the areas we occupy. We are very clear that no other members of our party have been in contact with the two players — couldn’t join us for breakfast or training. It is a very serious situation and we have treated it that way.

“I think at the moment I’m trying to take a lot of information in. Obviously they have been naive, we have dealt with it appropriately. I recognise their age, but the whole world is dealing with this pandemic.”

Iceland requires visitors to self-isolate for five days upon arrival. The Football Association negotiated an elite sports exemption to that rule following talks with the Icelandic government, but the team still had to stay in a bio-secure bubble for the duration of their stay.

Southgate’s prematch virtual news conference was delayed by almost an hour as the FA launched an investigation into the incident.

Manchester United released a statement which read: “Manchester United are liaising with the Football Association and are disappointed with the actions of Mason Greenwood over this situation.”

Manchester City were also critical of Foden in their response: “It is clear that Phil’s actions were totally inappropriate.

“His behaviour not only directly contravenes strict guidelines related to COVID-19, but also falls well below standard expected of a Manchester City and England player. The club supports the FA regarding this incident.”

Both players are expected to fly back to England within the next 24 hours.

Southgate also said there was no risk of the Denmark match being postponed, as he disputed the suggestion that the women had entered the same area of the hotel as the rest of the squad.



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