May 18, 2024


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Sterling misses England game after terrifying home invasion, Wenger claims demonstrations cost eliminated teams

Sterling misses England game after terrifying home invasion, Wenger claims demonstrations cost eliminated teams

Two down, two through in Qatar as France and England set up a monster clash, while Poland and Senegal depart the tournament.

Here’s all the latest news from the FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

Sterling misses England game after terrifying home invasion

England star Raheem Sterling has been forced to leave Qatar and return home after his home was burgled by armed men.

After the Three Lions’ dominant 3-0 win over Senegal, manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that Sterling had flown back to England following a break-in on Saturday night (UK time), with the player learning of the news early on Sunday morning.

Unconfirmed reports are that his family were present at the property when it was targeted by thieves. It is not yet known if he will return for their quarter-final with France this weekend, but Southgate said that football was not a priority in light of events. The BBC reported that there is the opportunity to return if the player chooses.

“At the moment, clearly the priority is for him to be with his family,” said the England coach. “We’re going to support that, and leave him to have as much time as he needs. He’s going home.

“At the moment it’s a situation that he needs time with his family to deal with, and I don’t want to put him under any pressure with that. Sometimes football isn’t the most important thing, and family should come first.”

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger has departed Arsenal. (AP Photo/Jon Super)

Wenger says off-field distractions cost eliminated teams

Former Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger has claimed “political demonstrations” caused eliminated teams to lose focus and contributed to their early exit from the World Cup.

Germany and Denmark, two of seven European nations to be banned from wearing a OneLove captain’s armband adorned with pro-LGBTQI messaging, both fell at the first hurdle after underwhelming performances in their group stage matches in Qatar.

“The teams who were not disappointing with their first game performance… when you go to a World Cup you have to not lose the first game, are the teams with experience and with results in former tournaments, like France and England and Brazil,” the former Arsenal manager said.

“They played well in the first game. The teams as well who were mentally ready, with the mindset to focus on the competition, and not on political demonstrations.”

Injured Jesus to stay with Brazil squad, Neymar will play in Round of 16 tie

Ever since his off-season move from Manchester City to North London, Gabriel Jesus has been in a rich vein in form for new club Arsenal, netting five times and laying on six assists.

Jesus was hoping to carry that momentum into a World Cup tilt with Brazil but the striker’s tournament was ended when he sustained a knee injury in the shock 1-0 loss to Cameroon.

“Players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests Saturday morning accompanied by team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar and a MRI on their right knees confirmed the extent of the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022,” the CBF said in a statement.

According to ESPN, Arsenal sporting director Edu made contact with Brazil in hopes of bringing his star forward back to London so he could continue his recovery there.

That request was denied, however, and Jesus will stay with the national team squad in Qatar.

The timeline on Jesus’s injury is up to three months in a huge blow to the Gunners’ Premier League title and potentially even top-four hopes with Mikel Arteta not boasting anything close to an equivalent No.9 in his squad.

Meanwhile, after there were some fairly serious concerns over the PSG forward’s fitness, Neymar has been passed fit to take on South Korea on Tuesday (6am AEDT).

In a huge coup for coach Tite, Brazil’s frontline will be significantly boosted by Neymar’s inclusion as the squad has been affected by key injuries.

“He has a specific training, so I don’t anticipate any situation,” Tite told reporters ahead of the Round of 16 clash at Stadium 974.

Right-back Danilo is also available, however left back Alex Sandro is not fit to face South Korea. Along with Jesus, Alex Telles will miss the remainder of the 2022 World Cup.