•Injury visible during England’s training session on Tuesday•Sterling also training after intervention of England players
Joe Gomez had a scratch beneath his right eye when taking part in England’s open training on Tuesday as a result of the altercation withRaheem Sterling.
The Manchester City forward was also involved in the session, despite beingdropped by Gareth Southgatefor Thursday’s Euro 2020 qualifier with Montenegro at Wembley because of the incident.
Sterling stayed with the squad after the intervention of England’s players. Gareth Southgate’s instinct had been to send home the 24 – year-old but the manager acceded to their wishes.
Jordan Henderson, who is not with the squad because of suspension but is a friend of Sterling’s from their time together at Liverpool, contacted Southgate to lobby for Sterling not to be dropped for the Montenegro game.
It is thought Southgate did not witness the episode involving Gomez but acted after being informed of what had occurred between the pair on Monday in the players’ canteen after the squad met up at St George’s Park.
The reason cited by Southgate was emotions still being “raw” following Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat of City that took them nine points clear of the champions. Southgate began the session broadly smiling. He is to hold a media conference on Wednesday when the matter will be discussed.
Sterling is available for Sunday’s match in Kosovo.
Southgate’s handling of the situation has been criticized by the former (England) defender Rio Ferdinand, who posted on Facebook before news of Gomez’s scratch emerged: “I feel this incident could have been handled better. Keep it behind closed doors & deal with it internally surely?!
“Now Raheem is left to defend himself from all of the haters that had had their keyboards turned off due to him becoming a very worthy ambassador for the English game, and rightly so.
“If this was a terrible incident then I would be all for public shaming & discipline. But for this ‘throat grab’ that we are TOLD it’s for I can’t understand it. ”