England winger Jadon Sancho and striker Tammy Abraham will return for Sunday’s Nations League game against Belgium after missing the friendly against Wales due to a breach of COVID-19 regulations, manager Gareth Southgate said on Saturday.
Sancho and left back Ben Chilwell attended a party for Abraham’s 23rd birthday in London on Oct. 3 and missed Thursday’s 3-0 friendly win over Wales for breaching health protocols.
Abraham’s party was reportedly organised as a surprise but the event broke the “rule of six”, which is one of the British government’s guidelines that bans people in England from mixing in groups of more than six to limit the spread of the coronavirus.
Southgate confirmed Sancho and Abraham were back in training but Chilwell is unwell ahead of the game at Wembley.
“Tammy and Jadon both trained on Saturday and everyone is available,” Southgate said. “They’ve missed a bit of training so that’s a bit of a concern but it’s done.
“Ben will be tested on Saturday and we’ll have to wait for the results of that on Sunday and then we can make a decision from there.”
Southgate praised forward Marcus Rashford after the 22-year-old received an MBE in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honours for his successful campaign which ensured free school meals were extended through England’s summer holidays during the pandemic.
“We’re all very proud of him. We gave him a special round of applause this morning,” the 50-year-old manager said.
“You can only marvel at what he’s achieved and the difference he’s made to kids who will understand the difference he’s made but also who, at the moment, won’t understand but will be incredibly grateful for him in years to come.”
England, second in League A Group 2 in the Nations League, also play Denmark on Wednesday.