One of the women smuggled into the hotel rooms of England footballers Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood in Iceland today said it had been a “huge mistake” — and insisted she had no idea how famous the pair were.
The two Premier League stars flew home in disgrace after being expelled from the England squad after the breach of Covid-19 protocols.
Watch as Gareth Southgate responds to Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood Covid-19 breaches
They secretly met Iceland Miss Universe contender Nadia Gunnarsdottir, 20, and her cousin Lara Clausen, 19, at the squad’s Saga hotel in Reykjavik. Images from their liaison, which took place after Saturday’s game against Iceland, were posted on Snapchat and sent to Icelandic news website DV. Ms Clausen said today in an Instagram video: “To answer the main question, I’m the person who picked up the boys and took up this whole situation. It was a huge mistake. Honestly, with all my conscience, I did not realise how famous these guys were. I do not watch football and have never done. I did not realise what I was putting on the internet.
“I had to learn the hard way that not everything belongs on the internet, you have to be careful what you put on the internet. I did not realise it. I put this in a private story on my Snapchat and I thought it would never go any further, I did not realise who these guys were and how big it would be.”
Foden, 20, who plays for Manchester City, and Greenwood, 18, who is one of Manchester United’s highest-rated youngsters, arrived at the city’s airport late last night on a private jet before being driven home. The rest of the squad have flown to Copenhagen for tonight’s game against Denmark.
Foden is in a relationship and has a two-year-old son while Greenwood is single. The pair made their international debuts on Saturday, with Foden starting and Greenwood introduced as a second-half substitute in a 1-0 win.
Ms Clausen, a law student, later added in a conversation with a DV journalist that she had not been told by the stars that they were in quarantine.
She added: “Many who have told me that he (Foden) has a girlfriend and a child. I did not know. I did not Google the person before I went to meet him, I feel for everyone around him. Family, girlfriend, teammates and him too.
“We can’t take this back. This is something you have to live with.”
The actions of the two stars were a serious breach of protocols because of strict coronavirus rules implemented to allow international football to take place. The squad arrived in Iceland having been given an exemption from the country’s quarantine rules, which mean all foreign travellers have to quarantine for 14 days.
Gareth Southgate’s squad was only allowed to go to the training facilities and match while in the country and was banned from meeting anyone outside of their bubble.
A Reykjavik Police spokesman said both players were fined 250,000 krona (£1,360). They now face a potential ban from more England games as well as disciplinary action from their clubs.
England boss Southgate branded the young players “naive” and said he had “no alternative” but to axe them from the squad.