Gary Neville has sympathised with Raheem Sterling over he winger’s situation at home. Sterling was competing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar with England, and he was set to play against Senegal in the Round of 16 on Sunday before receiving a phone call from England. Sterling was told his house had been burgled, and he had rush home to make sure his family were safe and well.
Thankfully, they are, with no one at home at the time of the incident, as confirmed by local police. Burglars broke into the home and stole jewellery and other belongings, and an investigation is ongoing into the incident.
Sterling is expected to return to Qatar, but it’s not clear whether he will be back in time to face France in the quarter-finals this weekend. In the meantime, Neville has been speaking about the situation. He told Sky Sports: “It’s horrific. We obviously heard a couple of hours before kick-off that Raheem wouldn’t be part of the matchday squad. We didn’t know initially what that was actually for and the reasons behind it.
“What it tells us is that there are still bad things happening in the world and we should reflect upon that, but also the way football, Gareth, the England team, the English media, deal with these things now. A lot more respectfully, with compassion and empathy, putting football aside and putting people first.
“That wouldn’t have always happened 20 years ago, there would probably have been a different reaction from all sides. The player maybe would have felt that he couldn’t go home, he couldn’t feel comfortable to have that discussion.
“The manager and the staff might have been more, ‘well, what can you do there? We will look after your family, stay here, we have got a game to win’. The English media probably would have treated it differently as well. I think we’re all in a better place to be able to deal with it properly but all out thoughts are with Raheem and his family.”