2018 Fifa World Cup European qualifying

Drunken Wayne Rooney’s wedding crasher pics force FA review

Wannabe England boss Gareth Southgate put in uncomfortable spot by Manchester United striker

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 10:28am
UPDATED : Thursday, 17 November, 2016, 11:46am

Gareth Southgate intends to review how England’s players spend their free time if he secures the manager’s job permanently after newspaper photographs showed captain Wayne Rooney apparently drunk.

British tabloid The Sun published pictures of Manchester United skipper Rooney, 31, supposedly looking the worse for wear after “gatecrashing” a wedding last weekend.

Rooney apologised for the pictures. “All England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times,” said the FA. “We will be reviewing our policy around free time whilst on international duty.”

Southgate believes the claims merit investigation, but he is still waiting to hear from the Football Association about whether he has landed the role full-time following a four-game caretaker stint.

“Over the last few years, the players have been allowed to go home during a period of time,” Southgate said after England’s 2-2 friendly draw with Spain at Wembley.

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“They trained Saturday morning and they trained again on Sunday afternoon, and I gave the players a period of time off [in between]. I’m not aware of anything else.

“There were lots of changes we made to routines. Some things we thought we should keep the same and I’ll have to review [it] – or maybe I won’t have to review! Someone will have to review it.”

Rooney missed the game against Spain on Tuesday due to a knee problem sustained during last Friday’s 3-0 win over Scotland in World Cup qualifying.

He is said to have joined revellers celebrating a wedding at England’s team hotel in Watford, north of London, on Saturday night and The Sun quoted witnesses who said he was drunk.

“Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published today,” Rooney’s management team said. “Although it was a day off for the whole squad and staff, he fully recognises that the images are inappropriate for someone in his position.

“Earlier today Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and [technical director] Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologize. He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures.”