RETURN OF RAHEEM STERLING TO QATAR FOR THE WORLD CUP
By Rashmi Goel
Sterling flew back to the UK after his Surrey mansion was burgled by armed robbers, forcing him to leave England's World Cup base in Qatar. Sterling's partner Paige and four young children were inside the property when it was raided, which prompted him to return home to be with his family. Gareth Southgate was unable to confirm at the time whether the England international would be returning to Qatar for the remainder of the World Cup after missing the 3-0 last-16 victory over Senegal.
Apparently, Raheem wanted to return home because he was worried about the health of his young children, according to a source. It was terrifying for her and clearly traumatic for everyone in the family," the source said. "Raheem will have been beside himself with worry when he heard about the raid." "He will come back home if he can." There are no words to describe how frightening it is to be away when your partner and children are at home when an armed gang breaks in. Southgate said after the win over Senegal that "it looks like watches have been taken. The police were there several hours." He said: "We'll have to wait and see [if he'll be back to play against France] at the moment, clearly he needs to be with his family, and we will support him." It is important to give him time to resolve that matter or to be available for his family. This is the most important thing at this time, so we will allow him to take that time.
The incident did not have any impact on the team selection. I spent a lot of time this morning with Raheem, but you know, you have days where you have to deal with things that happen. Thankfully, we will allow him to take the time he needs since he needs to spend time with his family at the moment. I don't want to put him under any pressure since sometimes football doesn't have to be the most important thing. If something is important, then putting the family first should be the first priority." As determined as he is to return, he will join the squad in Al Wakrah on Friday in preparation for the quarter-final match against France.