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Three Covid rule breakers delayed from joining England squad ahead of matches

England have blocked Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho from linking up with Gareth Southgate’s squad after the trio broke Covid-19 lockdown rules.

The three stars were pictured attending a party for Abraham’s 21st birthday less than 24 hours before they were supposed to join the England squad at St George’s Park.

Southgate’s squad have got together at their HQ to prepare for three games during the international break.

But Southgate and his FA bosses have delayed the arrival of the offending trio while the incident is investigated.

It is understood the trio will have to be tested for the virus, but Southgate is keen to find out more details about who they all came into contact with.

The scandal is the latest to beset Southgate and comes in the wake of Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden being flown home from Iceland in disgrace for smuggling two women into the team hotel in Reykjavik last month.

Both have been dropped for this squad ahead of games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

An FA spokesman said: “England men’s senior squad has assembled at St. George’s Park ahead of the forthcoming fixtures against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

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“However, as a precaution to understand if there is any risk to the wider group, the arrival of Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho will be delayed.

“This is to allow time to gather further information of a social gathering that all three players reportedly attended over the weekend.”

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In a further blow to Southgate, Raheem Sterling has pulled out of all three games with an unspecified injury and will remain with Manchester City.

Chelsea’s Reece James has been promoted from the U21 squad.

England face Wales at Wembley on Thursday (8 October) before welcoming Belgium on Sunday (11 October) and Denmark on Wednesday (14 October) in UEFA Nations League Group A2.

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