In surprising news, Arsenal defender Ben White has left the England national team camp and will no longer be a part of the squad to represent the Three Lions at the ongoing 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
The reasons for his exit were described as personal and the team have requested that his decision and privacy be respected in this matter.
White, who got in on merit for his strong performances for Arsenal in the ongoing Premier League season, was greatly helped by the media push for Gareth Southgate to consider him. He has yet to play a minute of his first tournament for England and will now be ending his outing prematurely.
Expected to start against Wales after Southgate’s intention to reshuffle the team, White missed out due to illness. Two days after the game, the announcement from the Football Association came to the surprise of many, who had hoped to see the Arsenal man get a run at the tournament.
Arsenal hope that White, who has four England caps, will be mentally and physically ready to be a part of the team when the season resumes on Boxing Day, December 26. The former Brighton and Hove Albion man has already made 19 appearances in all competitions for the Premier League leaders this season and is one of Mikel Arteta’s trusted men.
England won two of their three group games and drew one, helping them to a haul of seven points. It was enough to earn them the top spot in Group B and they will face Senegal, who finished in second place in Group A in the last 16 on Sunday.
It will be the first meeting between both sides in their history and Phil Foden, who got his first start and first goal of the ongoing tournament in their 3 – 0 dribbling of United Kingdom neighbours Wales, alluded to the fact that England do not know what to expect from the African champions.
“There’s no easy game, you can see that by the group how tough USA was and Iran as well going on to beat Wales, it just goes to show there are no easy games,” the Manchester City man said on Tuesday.
“We don’t really know them too much, we just have to sit down and review them and be ready for the game.”
Senegal, meanwhile, could face sanctions for breaching World Cup rules ahead of their clash with England.
Aliou Cisse, the team manager, attended his pre-match press conference against Ecuador without a player which is a direct breach of FIFA laws.
FIFA is planning to take action on the team but it is unknown if it will lead to a disqualification.