Raheem Sterling will not play in England’s European Qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday after a disturbance involving Liverpool’s Joe Gomez at St George’s Park.
England manager Gareth Southgate said that “emotions were still raw” after Sterling was involved in a clash with Gomez towards the end of Liverpool’s 3-1 win over Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday.
It is understood the pair were again involved after meeting up for England duty on Monday, leading to Sterling’s withdrawal from selection for the game with Montenegro at Wembley.
No details of the incident were revealed, although the FA confirmed Sterling remains with the squad following the “disturbance in a private team area”.
Southgate said: “We have taken the decision to not consider Raheem for the match against Montenegro on Thursday.
“One of the great challenges and strengths for us is that we’ve been able to separate club rivalries from the national team. Unfortunately, the emotions of yesterday’s game were still raw.
“My feeling is that the right thing for the team is the action we have taken. Now that the decision has been made with the agreement of the entire squad, it’s important that we support the players and focus on Thursday night.”
In a post on his Instagram account on Tuesday, Sterling confirmed he and Gomez clashed, but admits the pair have now “figured things out and moved on”.
“First and foremost everyone knows what that game means to me,” he said.
“Everyone knows that I am not that way inclined and more to the point, both Joe and I have had words and figured things out and moved on.
“We are in a sport where emotions run high and I am man enough to admit when emotions got the better of me. We move, this is why we play this sport because of our love for it.
“Me and Joe Gomez are good, we both understand it was a 5-10 second thing. It’s done, we move forward and not make this bigger than it is. Let’s get focus on our game on Thursday.”
England plays Montenegro at Wembley on Thursday before facing Kosovo away on Sunday, knowing just a point from the two games will be enough to see them qualify for Euro 2020.