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Mason Greenwood breaks his silence on sneaking girls into England’s team hotel in Iceland

Mason Greenwood has issued a grovelling apology after being axed from England’s squad for sneaking girls into the Three Lions’ team hotel while in Iceland.

The Manchester United striker and Phil Foden, who had both earned their first senior England call-ups, were kicked out of the squad by Gareth Southgate.

And Greenwood has now broken his silence after Foden had apologised on Monday. 

In a statement released on United’s website, Greenwood said: ‘Having now had the chance to reflect on what’s happened, I can only apologise to everyone for the embarrassment I have caused.

‘It was irresponsible of me to break the COVID-19 protocols which are in place to protect players, staff and the public. In particular, I want to apologise to Gareth Southgate, for letting him down, when he had shown great trust in me.

‘Playing for England was one of the proudest moments in my life and I only have myself to blame for this huge mistake. I promise my family, the fans, Manchester United and England that this is a lesson I will learn from.’ 

Greenwood – who has deleted his Twitter account in the aftermath of his exile from the England national team – and Foden were at the centre of the scandal after breaching coronavirus protocols during their stay in Iceland with Southgate’s squad. 

The FA are currently investigating the pair after they sneaked two Icelandic girls, one a beauty queen, into their team hotel, breaking both Icelandic law and the FA’s social distancing guidelines with people outside their bubble. 

Having just made their England debuts, they were sent home ahead of the Three Lions’ Nations League game against Denmark tonight (Tuesday).

Icelandic police have now fined the duo 250,000 Icelandic Krona (£1,300) for the rule breach during the coronavirus pandemic, which must be paid by the individuals themselves and not by the FA or their clubs. 

Footage had emerged on social media of the women in question arranging a meet-up with the young England stars.

At the other end of the line, Foden could be heard responding: ‘What you coming to the hotel for?’, before Greenwood appears to say to his team-mate in the background: ‘What do you think?’ 

One of the girls has apologised for her part in the incident, saying she felt ‘really, really, really bad’. 

Model Nadia Sif Lindal Gunnarsdottir, 20, told MailOnline: ‘I feel really sorry for them and I never wanted to put them in that position. But we didn’t know any better and we didn’t know that they were quarantining, or else we wouldn’t have gone to meet them.

‘We didn’t even know who Phil was. I asked Phil who he was. I’m not that much into football. I don’t watch football at all.

‘We didn’t even know that Mason played for Man United.’

She added: ‘We haven’t spoken to them since. We don’t want to interrupt them because they are of course going through a lot right now. They haven’t contacted us.

‘It was a good night that we had, of course. We were all the four of us spending time together and getting to know each other. They were really nice guys.’

After they were kicked out of the squad, Manchester City midfielder Foden issued a statement – insisting he is a ‘young player with a lot to learn’.

Writing via Twitter on Monday evening, Foden said: ‘Following the story which has emerged today regarding my actions in Iceland, I want to make a full apology.

‘I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England team mates, to the staff, supporters, and also to my Club and family.

‘I am a young player with a lot to learn, but I am aware of the huge responsibility I have in representing Manchester City and England at this level.

‘On this occasion I made a poor decision and my behaviour didn’t meet the standards expected of me.

‘I breached COVID-19 protocols put in place to protect myself and my England colleagues. As a consequence I will now miss the opportunity to travel to Denmark with the squad, and that hurts.’ 

According to the Sun, the young English duo will also be kept out of England’s squad for the matches against Wales, Belgium and Denmark again next month as punishment.

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