5 October 2020

FA Investigating Abraham's Surprise Party  (Sky Sports)

Tammy AbrahamThe Football Association is investigating after Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho were pictured attending a party in breach of coronavirus regulations.

Footage was shared by The Sun newspaper which showed Chelsea forward Abraham and fellow footballers Chilwell and Sancho at a party in London with more than six people on Saturday evening.

The party was organised as a surprise for Abraham's 23rd birthday but it broke the 'rule of six' - one of the Government's guidelines for people in England designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Abraham has apologised for the party but is adamant he had no knowledge of it being organised. There were temperature checks on arrival for guests, all of whom were Abraham's family and friends.

In a statement to Sky Sports News, Abraham said: "On Saturday evening I arrived home to find a small surprise gathering had been organised for me with family and close friends to celebrate my birthday.

"Although I was totally unaware this was planned, I would like to wholeheartedly apologise for the naivety shown by all for the organisation and attending of this gathering.

"I recognise that I have a responsibility both in my professional and personal life to honour and respect the guidelines and deeply regret that this took place. All I can do now is learn from it, apologise to everyone and ensure it never happens again."

The FA confirmed to Sky Sports News it is aware of the incident, with the trio's arrival at St George's Park on Monday delayed until further investigation into the allegations.

England manager Gareth Southgate is also set to remind all members of his squad about their responsibilities on their arrival at the training camp ahead of their upcoming fixtures against Wales, Belgium and Denmark.

However, it is unlikely Abraham, Chilwell or Sancho will be dropped on medical grounds, unless they are found to be coronavirus-positive when tested on entry into the England camp.

The FA will test all players when they report for duty on Monday, and then again on Tuesday, to comply with UEFA's rules which dictate all players should be tested two days prior to every international match.

Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho was present at the party despite missing his club's game against SC Freiburg on the same day. He has been absent from Dortmund training recently due to a "respiratory illness" but recently tested negative for coronavirus.

Dortmund told Sky Sports News: "We are in close contact with the English FA and representatives of the national team. We are aware that they are following Covid-19 protocols in line with UEFA. It would not be appropriate for us to add comment at this stage."

Chelsea are yet to comment but it is understood the club will be reminding all players of the need to abide by social-distancing rules.

The incident comes a month after Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood were sent home for breaching coronavirus protocols while with the England squad in Iceland.

However, Southgate is yet to decide whether Abraham, Chilwell and Sancho should be made an example of for breaching the 'rule of six', with FA officials feeling this is a very different scenario.

In Reykjavik, Foden and Greenwood were already inside England's secure eco-bubble when they broke the rules, whereas Abraham, Chilwell and and Sancho were partying in their free time before they entered England's bio-secure environment.

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