‘It is a very difficult moral maze’: Gareth Southgate reflects on ‘impossible’ decisions over selecting coronavirus rule breakers for England with Jadon Sancho set for recall against Belgium despite flouting lockdown measures with team-mates
- Gareth Southgate has admitted his decisions over selections are ‘impossible’
- The England boss has been accused of double standards over his recent choices
- Jadon Sancho is set for a recall on Sunday despite breaking coronavirus rules
- But Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were excluded fully from the latest squad
Sancho is in line to win his 14th cap when England meet Belgium at Wembley despite breaking lockdown rules with team-mates Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell last weekend.
They all gathered at a birthday party for Abraham that exceeded the Government’s ‘rule of six’ but Southgate has still allowed the Chelsea striker and Sancho to rejoin the squad after they both tested negative for Covid-19.
Boss Gareth Southgate has spoken about the ‘moral maze’ over his England team selections
Jadon Sancho is set to earn a recall despite breaking rules alongside several team-mates
Chilwell underwent his test on Saturday and, providing the results are negative, should face Denmark on Wednesday.
Southgate’s stance has led to accusations of double standards because Foden and Greenwood have not been picked for this squad as a punishment for breaching protocol by inviting two women to the team hotel after England played in Iceland last month.
The England boss insists the cases are different because the first incident occurred during an international camp. He says having previously picked Jack Grealish and Kyle Walker following lockdown misdemeanours during their ‘private’ time, it would have been inconsistent to have acted differently with the Sancho group.
Youngsters Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were excluded from Southgate’s latest squad
‘It is a very difficult moral maze and you are having to make decisions that are impossible really,’ said Southgate.
‘How do you treat all these different instances we have had to deal with over the last few months?
‘Where we have been fairly consistent is that the lockdown breaches that have happened away from our camp, players have been selected.
‘We are not condoning that, we are not encouraging that, we recognise the responsibilities but we were consistent in that thinking.
Southgate has insisted the decisions are ‘impossible’ amid accusations of double standards
‘I don’t think it is more comparable to what happened last month because that is a completely different set of circumstances, in my view.
‘But, look, I can’t sit here and say I have got all of these things right. It is impossible. What is right? Everybody is going to have a view of that.
‘I have got to make decisions that I believe are right for the culture of the team first and foremost. There is additional scrutiny because we are the national team and we are judged differently to any club decision but I am not losing sleep over that.’