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Euro 2012: England’s Jermain Defoe returns home after death of father

7th June 2012

• FA announce striker will re-join squad ‘in due course’
• No replacement player will be called up to provide cover

The England striker Jermain Defoe is to return home following the death of his father and will rejoin the squad at Euro 2012 in due course, the Football Association have announced.

An FA statement added: “There will be no replacement player called in. We would ask all media to respect Jermain and his family’s privacy at this difficult time.”

England arrived in Poland on Wednesday, and it is not known whether the 29-year-old Tottenham striker will be back before Monday’s Group D opening match against France in Donetsk.

The FA and the England manager Roy Hodgson will offer Defoe as much time off as he needs and still view the 29-year-old as a key part of the squad, even though he was unlikely to start against France.

It was Defoe whose goal against Slovenia in the last World Cup propelled England into the knockout phase, although he has been a peripheral figure for much of the European Championship qualifying campaign after scoring a hat-trick in the win over Bulgaria in September 2010.

With Wayne Rooney suspended, either Danny Welbeck or Andy Carroll will get the nod against the French, with Ashley Young expected to operate just behind. © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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