Raheem Sterling has returned to London from England's World Cup squad after a burglary at his family home.
Sterling played no part in Sunday's 3-0 win over Senegal in the round of 16 following the break in the previous night. Surrey Police said that no one had been at home; jewelry and watches were taken. "We are currently investigating a report of a burglary at an address in Oxshott, Leatherhead," said the police.
"The occupants of the property came home and discovered a number of items, including jewelry and watches, had been stolen. Enquiries to establish the circumstances are under way and the investigation is ongoing. No threat of violence was involved as the items were discovered stolen retrospectively." It had initially been reported that armed men had entered an occupied home, threatening violence, but this statement indicates that was not the case.
England manager Gareth Southgate did not confirm whether Sterling would return in time for the quarterfinal against France on Saturday; the Chelsea forward has been a key figure on the international stage over the last eight years and started both of the World Cup group stage games against Iran and the United States. He also started every one of England's seven games at Euro 2020.
"It's a situation he needs time to deal with," Southgate said, "I don't want to put any pressure on him. Sometimes football isn't the most important thing and family should come first."
Sterling is the second player to leave the England camp for personal reasons. Arsenal defender Ben White departed on Nov. 30 and is not expected to return.