LONDON (Reuters) - England forward Raheem Sterling, left out of the team for Thursday’s 7-0 win over Montenegro at Wembley following a clash with team mate Joe Gomez, backed the Liverpool defender after he was booed by some of the crowd.
Manchester City’s Sterling was dropped by England manager Gareth Southgate after an altercation with Gomez in the canteen at the national team’s St George’s Park training ground on Monday.
The pair had squared up the day before during Liverpool’s 3-1 win over City at Anfield in a top-of-the-table Premier League clash.
Sterling watched England secure qualification for the Euro 2020 finals from the stands but took to social media after hearing some fans target Gomez with booing.
“To all the England fans, I wanted to leave things as it was but tonight I have to speak again: it was hard for me to see my team mate get booed for something that was my fault,” Sterling wrote on twitter.
“Joe hasn’t done anything wrong and for me to see someone who keeps his head down and works hard, especially after a difficult week for him, to be booed when he came on tonight was wrong.
“I’ve taken full responsibility and accepted the consequence. I felt as though I had to say this,” he added.
Southgate said he did not understand why some fans had picked on Gomez.
“No England player should ever be booed. We are a team and Joe has done nothing wrong, I made that clear earlier in the week so I don’t understand that.
“Him and Raheem are very close and the whole team are very close so we don’t want to see anybody treated that way.”
Reporting by Simon Evans; editing by Ken Ferris