Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden will not travel with the England squad from Iceland to Denmark after breaching UEFA’s coronavirus protocols, Gareth Southgate has confirmed.
Iceland’s police force has confirmed to Sky Sports News the players have each been fined 250,000 Icelandic Krona (£1,360) for the rule breach, which must be paid by the individuals themselves and not by the FA or their clubs.
Southgate confirmed the pair broke coronavirus secure bubble guidelines and have been sent back to England, without contact with any other players since Monday morning.
“Unfortunately this morning it was brought to my attention that the two boys have broken the Covid guidelines in terms of our secure bubble.null
“We had to decide very quickly that they could not have any interaction with the team, wouldn’t be able to train. Given the procedures we have to follow now, they have to travel back to England separately.”
Southgate said the breach had occurred outside of the part of the hotel the FA has booked for the England squad.
“Nothing has happened in the areas we occupy in the team hotel,” he insisted.
“We are still getting to the depths of all the information because it was only brought to my attention only a couple of hours before training, I am still getting to grips with some of the detail.
“What is clear is that there was a breach of the coronavirus guidelines. We spent such a long time getting those measures in place, the whole squad followed that together.
“We have had four tests in the period we have been together. Our staff have been incredible in keeping that secure and tight.
“In that respect we have no alternative but to do what we are doing.”
An FA spokesperson said: “Whilst in Iceland, both Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood spent time outside of our private team area, which was a breach of our COVID-19 rules.
“While they did not leave the team hotel, it was an unacceptable breach of our protocol. They have both apologised for their serious lack of judgement.
“The FA will be launching a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to this breach. We have spoken to the Football Association of Iceland to offer our apologies for this incident and to ensure them that we are taking the appropriate steps.
“We have also assured the Danish Football Union that all other players and staff members have been isolated within our group throughout this period.”
Southgate believes the game against Denmark is not in any danger of being called off because of how staff followed guidelines and restricted access for Foden and Greenwood from the rest of the team.
“We are very clear that no other members of our party have been in contact with those players. That’s why they couldn’t join us for breakfast or training. We followed the guidelines,” he said.
“It is a very serious situation and we have treated it that way and acted as quickly as we have been able to. They have been naive and we have dealt with it appropriately. The whole world is dealing with this pandemic and every age group has a responsibility in keeping each other safe.”
The pair were the only players absent as Southgate took his final tactical session at the Laugardalsvollur Stadium in Reykjavik before Tuesday’s game.
Both players made their full international debuts in Saturday’s 1-0 Nations League over Iceland.
Southgate will have a 21-man squad to choose from for the game in Copenhagen, which is live on Sky Sports Football from 7pm on Tuesday, with Kyle Walker suspended after receiving a red card in Reykjavik.