Scandal at the English Camp: Greenwood and Foden Break Covid-19 Rules

February 17th 2021, 8:56 am
Last Updated 3 years ago
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Phil Foden (20) and Mason Greenwood (18) have landed themselves in hot water. After the Iceland vs England match, the young duo wanted to celebrate the 1-0 victory against the hosts in style. However, in doing so, they broke the Icelandic self-isolation protocols.

The team had travelled to Iceland on a special exemption amidst the country’s strict response to the pandemic. All the players and staff received full screening upon arrival at the border and had to ‘bubble.’ Therefore, the squad weren’t allowed any visitors and could only meet on the field or for training.

Foden and Greenwood were in clear violation of these rules when they invited two Icelandic models into their hotel rooms.

Gareth Southgate Responds Swifty to Protect Team

Soon after, England boss Garth Southgate declared the incident was “very serious”. As a result, the boys were removed from the camp to protect the team. They flew home on separate private flights on Monday ahead of the Denmark game. Because of their actions, there were questions about whether the match should go ahead as planned.

Denmark manager Kasper Hjulmand recognised it as “not a good situation”. Due to a fast response from Southgate, the UEFA concluded there would be no reason to postpone the match. The players had no contact with the rest of the team before leaving. England then went on to draw with Denmark, as Greenwood and Foden watched on from home.

Looking to the Future

In recent press discussions, it’s evident that frustrations are shared between the England team. The pair will have to regain the trust of their manager before making an international return.

Southgate has received some criticism for his comments on the situation, after calling the players “naïve”. On the other hand, Gary Neville and Jamie Carragher openly defended them. These two England legends share the attitude of “They’re young… mistakes happen”. Nevertheless, Southgate is entirely on board with helping the young starlets rebuild their reputations. He states “I don’t think you can underestimate the impact that will have on them”.

Since his return home, Foden has released a heartfelt apology. Writing on social media he said “I will learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgement” before wishing his team luck. Greenwood joined in on the apology a day later with a promise to learn from this “huge mistake”.

The boys are now waiting to hear if they’ll receive club punishment from their retrospective teams. Manchester United and Manchester City have agreed to support Southgate in any further discipline required. Greenwood and Foden will both undergo testing before rejoining training at their clubs.

Final Words

Whether or not the duo will be welcomed back to the squad in time for October matches against Wales, Belgium and Denmark remains to be seen. For now, fingers are crossed that both receive negative test results and can cope with the unwanted spotlight.


Rob has around 20 years journalism experience under his belt and has written and commentated on several top-level football tournaments.