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'It's not his fault' - Gomez's father defends Sterling over England altercation

The veteran midfielder, a former team-mate of the England man, has said that 'people are overreacting' to the incident

The father of Joe Gomez has refused to blame England star Raheem Sterling for the altercation that left his son with a scratch under his eye.

Sterling was involved in a physical confrontation with Gomez after reporting for national team duty on Monday, with the Manchester City man dropped by Gareth Southgate from the squad set to play in the Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro on Thursday.

The incident was reportedly fuelled by tension from Sunday's Premier League blockbuster between Gomez's Liverpool and Sterling's City, as the pair clashed during the match in the Reds' 3-1 win.

However, Augustus Gomez thinks the bust-up stemmed from Sterling's irritation at the taunts from Liverpool fans and a sign of his commitment to the Manchester City cause.

"[The incident] is normal," Augustus told the Mirror. "Young people are very ambitious and very willing to win for their team and that is what happens.

"If Liverpool were losing, one of the players would be agitated as well.

"Raheem Sterling - it is not his fault. Fans were agitating him and he took it out because of his frustration.

"We all understand that; it is football, we are human beings."

Sterling will be available for selection for England's second Euro 2020 qualifier of the international break against Kosovo on Sunday, while Gomez will be looking for his first Three Lions appearance since July, having spent the last four matches as an unused substitute.

Augustus revealed there was no long-lasting injury to Joe from the fracas with Sterling and that his son simply had playing football on his mind.

"He wasn’t expecting it, it happened, he brushed it away and he carried on," Augustus said. "He trained today, he is fine apart from the scratch on his face.

"He is fine, he is definitely fine. I spoke to him, I spoke to his agent; let him just be happy and smiling and so-forth. He is very passionate about what he does.

"His main focus now is to play football and to forget about the hype. It is something he does not want to talk about. He keeps his head low."