Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood dropped from England squad for breaching COVID-19 restrictions

Six months into the coronavirus pandemic, some of England’s top soccer players continue to struggle with safety protocols.

The latest example came Monday, when national team coach Gareth Southgate dropped prized youngsters Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood from the squad ahead of Tuesday’s UEFA Nations League match against Denmark after the pair were caught bringing women back to the team hotel following Saturday’s win in Iceland, which violated that country’s health restrictions.

Manchester City’s Foden, 20, and the 18-year-old Greenwood, who plays for Manchester United, made their international debuts in the 1-0 victory in Reykjavik. On Monday, Icelandic website reported that the players had broken local isolation rules after the women posted pictures of their visit on social media.

Foden and Greenwood remained in Iceland Monday as the English team took a chartered flight to Copenhagen, according to multiple outlets.

This isn’t the first time English footballers have been caught breaking the rules. In April, Foden’s City teammate Kyle Walker came under fire for hosting a party that was attended by a pair of sex workers. Walker was subsequently spotted visiting several family members the following months in breach of British regulations at the time.

Meanwhile, Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish was fined $200,000 by his club after crashing his car following a party in March. That incident occurred just hours after Grealish had implored others to stay home in an effort to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Grealish and Walker kept their national team places despite the indiscretions; Walker started Saturday’s match at right back but was sent off in the second half after picking up two yellow cards. Grealish didn’t play in that match but remains with the team ahead of Tuesday’s contest with the Danes.

It was not immediately clear when Foden and Greenwood will be allowed to return to the United Kingdom or what, if any, additional punishment they will face.

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