Manchester City star Raheem Sterling is said to be considering all options in his efforts to avoid clapping Joe Gomez through the guard of honour ahead of the Sky Blues’ versus Liverpool, Paddy Power News can exclusively reveal.
The former Liverpool winger clashed with the current Reds’ defender on England duty last year after the pair had scrapped during Liverpool’s 3-1 win at Anfield over City in November last year. Sterling was subsequently dropped from the England squad against Montenegro.
And reports have surfaced that the 25-year-old is still so wound up about the Liverpool squad player that he’s appealed to the FA for a retrospective ban just so he can avoid clapping through Gomez and his teammates as champions when they come to the Etihad on Thursday evening.
Raheem Sterling has been dropped by @England for Thursday's game against Montenegro.
The FA say it's after "a disturbance in a private team area at St George's Park" today. pic.twitter.com/tNGzQzLpbG
— BBC 5 Live Sport (@5liveSport) November 11, 2019
In a submission to the FA seen by our sources, Sterling lists several reasons why he should be banned for the visit of his former team.
“We all want the game played fairly and, in the best interests of sportsmanship, I feel it would set a poor example if I were allowed to play without sanction for the following offences,” the England international wrote earlier this week when he realised he’d have to watch Gomez smugly striding out on his own turf – and he’d have to applaud him doing it.
“I used foul and abusive language about referee Stuart Attwell and the VAR officials when Fernandinho was sent off during last week’s game with Chelsea.”
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“Unfortunately, it was muttered under my breath so no officials heard it, but I have included signed statements from several of my teammates confirming it.”
“I also thought about diving several times during the game too, and would’ve definitely done it if the opportunity arose.”
“Really. A properly blatant one, 9.9 from the judges, that kind of thing.”
“And I tried to bite Olivier Giroud on the neck during the game – but he’s two foot taller than me I I just got a mouthful of his shirt.”
“Add this to playing music off my phone speaker in public, leaving the toilet seat up this morning, and occasionally vague-posting on my private Facebook account, and I think the least I deserve is a one-game ban.”
The FA are not expected to grant Sterling’s wish, meaning the winger may be forced to line-up against his old team as they bask in the glory of their title win, though we would not be surprised if he “gets stuck in traffic” on the way to the Etihad on Thursday evening and has to miss the guard of honour ceremony.