England forward Daniel Sturridge explained his actions after being caught on his phone during the side’s 2-1 friendly win over Australia last month.
Sturridge, who missed the game through injury, was sat behind the England bench and had been spotted using his phone during the contest at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland.
Images of Sturridge using the device drew heavy criticism via social media, but the Liverpool forward explained just why he was using his phone, and insists England manager Roy Hodgson had no issue with it.
“That night was my first annual charity event in Birmingham. My family had put the event on and were texting me,” the 26-year-old revealed.
“I wasn’t sat on the bench, I was behind the bench [because of injury].
“Of course I’m watching the game – it’s important to watch my team-mates play. But if I receive a text message about my charity event of course I’m going to reply.
“That’s important too. I’m trying to do something positive for my community in Birmingham as well as Jamaica.
“Of course I want my team-mates to do well and there was no disrespect at all. The manager said he had no problem with it.”
Sturridge, who started all three of England’s games at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, insists he is ready to play his part at Euro 2016, even from the bench.
“It’s about being here as a team. I look at other countries when they score and everyone is off the bench. They are all involved, all jumping on each other, celebrating – and that’s how we have to be. We have to be a team. It’s very important. We have to be a family,” he said.
“We don’t have our mums, dads, kids and all those things here. Out here, we’re the only people we’ve got. So we’re our own family and we have to be together.”
England will contest Group B of the Euros – which begin on Friday – against Wales, Russia and Slovakia.
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