December 8, 2021

Abraham, Sancho, Chilwell avoid police investigation

Spread the love

Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho will not be investigated by the police after breaching coronavirus rules by attending a party on Saturday.

The trio – who will miss England’s game against Wales on Thursday because of their decision to celebrate Abraham’s birthday at his London flat – could have been fined up to £10,000 after breaching the government’s ‘rule of six’.

Sunday 11th October 4:30pm Kick off 5:00pm

Sky Sports Football HD

However, a statement from the Metropolitan Police on Tuesday said: “As a matter of course the MPS [Metropolitan Police Service] is not investigating COVID-related issues retrospectively.

“Where we become aware of a breach occurring, officers will seek to engage, explain and encourage people to follow the rules, only enforcing as a last resort.

“Where alleged breaches are brought to our attention after the event, officers will not have not had the opportunity to engage, explain or encourage, and those involved will not have had the opportunity to respond positively to that process – as most people do.

“Therefore, it would not be appropriate or an effective use of resources in most circumstances to investigate or pursue enforcement. We encourage everyone to make themselves aware of, and to follow, the rules.”

Gareth Southgate
Image: Gareth Southgate is not happy to again be dealing with England squad members apparently breaching coronavirus rules

Despite the Met’s decision, the FA is continuing its investigation into the players’ attendance at the party, and Sky Sports News has been told that England manager Gareth Southgate is furious at their actions.

Abraham’s friends and family threw a surprise party to celebrate his 23rd birthday, with around 20 people – including Chilwell and Sancho – at the event.

The FA told all three to stay away from St George’s Park on Monday, while the rest of the England players signed in and had their regular coronavirus test.

The whole squad will be tested again on Tuesday, two days before the Wales game, in line with UEFA’s protocols.

Ben Chilwell celebrates his goal
Image: Tammy Abraham and Ben Chilwell featured in Chelsea’s win over Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon before attending the party in the evening

But there are no plans for Sancho, Chilwell and Abraham to be re-admitted into the squad by then, and so – having missed the compulsory tests – there is no way they can be included in Southgate’s team to play in the friendly at Wembley.

In a statement on Monday, Abraham said: “On Saturday evening, I arrived home to find a small surprise gathering had been organised for me, with family and close friends, to celebrate my birthday.

“Although I was totally unaware this was planned, I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the naivety shown by all for the organisation and attending of this gathering.

“I recognise that I have a responsibility both in my professional and personal life to honour and respect the guidelines and deeply regret that this took place. All I can do now is learn from it, apologise to everyone and ensure it never happens again.”

Chilwell and Sancho also both apologised for attending the party and pledged to “learn from this”.

England players Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood
Image: Mason Greenwood and Phil Foden were sent home from Reykjavik after a rules breach last month

Southgate gave the squad specific warnings about breaching the rules after the embarrassing situation in Reykjavik four weeks ago, when Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home for leaving the eco-bubble.

Southgate has yet to decide if Sancho, Chilwell and Abraham will be allowed back into the England camp in time for the two Nations League games against Belgium and Denmark.

It is feasible for them to join up with the squad, if FA officials arrange for them to be tested on Friday – two days before the Belgium game at Wembley on Sunday.