England lose Trippier after FA arranges disciplinary hearing over betting charge

Gareth Southgate has lost Kieran Trippier for the Nations League tie against Denmark on Wednesday night as the full-back must attend a Football Association disciplinary hearing to answer charges relating to the breaking of betting rules – a situation that the England manager described as an unwanted distraction.

Trippier was charged with several alleged breaches during July of last year, which was the same month that he moved from Tottenham to Atlético Madrid for £20m. He has said that he did not place any bets himself or profit from bets made by other people.

The 30-year-old could be banned for up to six months if found guilty.

The timing of this week’s hearing is unfortunate – the FA would not confirm that it will be on the day of the Denmark game – and Southgate admitted he had no control over it. It will take place via video conference call and leaves Southgate in a jam as Ben Chilwell has also been forced to withdraw from the squad.

The Chelsea left-back had missed England’s wins over Wales and Belgium after he breached the government’s coronavirus “rule of six” and also suffered from a minor illness. Now the FA says he has a foot injury. Southgate started Trippier out of position at left wing-back in Sunday’s game against Belgium and lauded him as a “warrior.” With his options tight, he is expected to turn to Ainsley Maitland-Niles to fill the position against Denmark. Eric Dier has a hamstring problem and is set to be replaced in the middle of the back three by Conor Coady.

“There is not a lot I can say about it really, it is not something which is in my control,” Southgate said of Trippier’s absence. “If I lose focus on the job in hand – there are a million distractions, frankly – so this is another distraction but it is something I have got to plough on through.

“We haven’t got him. I’ve known, I spoke with Kieran last week and the situation is what it is. We’d have liked to have had Kieran available, we haven’t, so this is an opportunity for somebody else. The less I say the better. But what is clear is I don’t have any influence on disciplinary procedure, which I think is correct. I can’t be influencing when things happen or how they play out.”

Southgate reported that Harry Kane is fully fit after his fitness issue last week and available to start. The captain had felt muscle fatigue in his thigh and could not train properly. As a result, he featured only as a substitute against Belgium on Sunday, leaving his manager at Spurs, José Mourinho, extremely concerned about the prospect of him starting against Denmark. Southgate suggested that there was nothing to worry about.

Kane will be flanked in attack by Marcus Rashford, who became an MBE in the Queen’s birthday honours list following his work in the fight against child poverty. He campaigned for the government to allow about 1.3 million children to claim free school meal vouchers over the summer holidays during the coronavirus pandemic.

The 22-year-old said he had tried earlier in his career to help disadvantaged children but “because I didn’t know the ins and outs, it had a lot less of an effect than I wanted it to”. He worked to gain more of an understanding of the issues during lockdown, at a time when he could not train properly because of a back injury and, when he threw himself into more “precise” and targeted action, the impact was extraordinary.

“Every single day, it shocks me,” Rashford said of the situation for some children in the UK. “It’s not until people see the numbers. I’ve had the chance to visit some of the families and I’ve managed to help some of them and hear how it’s affected them and changed their lives. It’s just mind-blowing the amount of people who are suffering and who don’t know where to get the help.

“There’s been lots of different messages I’ve got from families and they all affect me in the same way. It’s just sad to know it’s still going on. I was in that position when I was younger and some of the families are in much worse positions than what I was in so I can only imagine what it feels like for the parents and the children who just want the best for one another.

“I’ve had to increase my understanding of issues off the pitch in order to help people. It’s something I don’t feel affects my football – that’s why I’m so enthusiastic about it.”

source: theguardian.com