England defender Ben White flew back home last week, leaving the squad in Qatar midway through the FIFA World Cup 2022. The Football Association, the governing body of English football, said that White cited ‘personal reasons’ for his decision.
The British media is reporting that White left after an alleged bust-up with Gareth Southgate’s assistant Steve Holland.
The 25-year-old Arsenal player did not feature in England’s three group-stage matches and the Round of 16 clash. England will play France in the quarterfinals on December 11 (IST).
According to Daily Star, White was unhappy after England benched him for the matches against Iran, Wales, and the USA in Group B and against Senegal in the pre-quarterfinals.
He confronted Holland in front of the rest of the squad during a training session, and the two had a heated exchange when they turned up for a team meeting before England’s goalless draw against the USA.
The England management was unhappy with White because of his lack of knowledge of personal data and opponents.
Meanwhile, Arsenal, which flew to Dubai for a training camp and beat Lyon 3-0 on Thursday, did not include White in its squad.
The Gunners coach Mikel Arteta said that he would ‘psychologically assess’ Arsenal’s World Cup stars to ensure they are ready for the return of the Premier League. Arsenal will resume its EPL campaign with a home game against West Ham on December 26.