England captain Wayne Rooney has issued a public apology after he was pictured appearing to party late into Saturday night while on international duty.
Rooney, whose absence from the team to play Spain on Tuesday was blamed on a minor injury, called the images, which appeared in a British newspaper, “inappropriate for someone in his position”.
The Manchester United star has also apologised to England caretaker manager Gareth Southgate, who is set to land the job on a full-time basis, and Football Association technical director Dan Ashworth.
“Naturally Wayne is sorry that pictures taken with fans have been published,” a statement from the player’s representatives 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.
“Wayne spoke privately to both Gareth Southgate and Dan Ashworth to unreservedly apologise. He would like to further extend that apology to any young fans who have seen these pictures.”
The Football Association said it would be reviewing policy around free time while England players were on international duty. A spokesperson added: “All England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times.”
Southgate insisted after the 2-2 draw with Spain that Rooney’s omissions had been solely down to an injury suffered in Friday’s 3-0 win over Scotland.
The 31-year-old is enduring a difficult season. He has scored just two goals in 19 appearances and has lost his status as an automatic starter for England and United.