14th October, 2019
England Gareth Southgate believes James Maddison has learned the hard way about the intensity of spotlight on England’s players after he was pictured in a casino after being released from international duty.
The Foxes midfielder, 22, had withdrawn from the Three Lions squad because of illness but made headlines after being seen in the venue during the Three Lions’ shock 2-1 defeat to the Czech Republic.
Photos of him gambling in a Leicester casino, was believed to have been taken at the same time Southgate’s men were playing in Prague on Friday night.
Southgate addressed the situation ahead of Monday’s trip to Bulgaria, where England will be looking to get their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign back on track.
Southgate said: “I’m sure he recognises now that when you are with England, there’s a different sort of spotlight on you and your private life.
“Young players probably aren’t as aware of that. That goes with the territory. It’s a high-profile position.
“I don’t like losing money so the casino is not the place for me. We’ve focused on getting a response. Everything else is back to the office at the end of the week.”
Following Friday’s game, England are level on 12 points with the Czech Republic in Group A, though Southgate’s side are ahead on goal difference and have a game in hand.
Third-placed Kosovo still have a chance of qualifying, four points behind the top two having played the same number of games as England.
The Three Lions’ final two qualifying games for next summer’s tournament will be against Montenegro and Kosovo during the next international break in mid-November.