An Icelandic beauty queen and her cousin at the centre of allegations which saw Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood removed from the England squad have insisted they did not plan to cause the pair trouble.
Model Nadia Sif Lindal Gunnarsdottir, 20, says she had been chatting to Greenwood before he visited Reykjavik but was unaware he played for Manchester United.
Nadia and her cousin, Lara Clausen, 19, claim they ended up in the hotel room of Greenwood and Manchester City star Phil Foden, who they claim not to have known at all before the night in question.
Images were published by Icelandic outlet DV which led to Greenwood and Foden being stood down from Southgate’s squad for breaching biosecure Covid-19 protocols.
Further footage has been leaked online but in a statement on Instagram, Nadia denied being responsible for any footage being made public and denied footage of a phone conversation being her.
She wrote: “I wanted to come clean a bit about this whole thing. I did not leak anything to the media. I did not take those photos and those videos.
“I was not talking to him on the phone, that was another girl. I did not know that they were quarantined.
“They did not deserve this one bit, they are amazing lads and really good footballers. I did not mean for any of this to happn. I’ll say it again, I did not leak ANYTHING to the media and NEVER would.
“Also I was wearing jeans that night, not leggings. Yeah I posted that for one hour, a story with my closest friends, but someone took a screenshot.
“Yes I did mess up too. Never said I didn’t. But I will defend myself from stories that aren’t true.”
The two girls in question have also spoken to the MailOnline regarding the incident, simply branding them “perfect gentleman”.
She says she was speaking to Greenwood “for a couple of days” before they travelled to Iceland after meeting online and were unaware they had to quarantine having presumed they would have been tested before the game.
Nadia told the Mail: “I feel really sorry for him and I never wanted to put them in that position but we didn’t know any better and we didn’t know that they were quarantining, or else we wouldn’t have gone to meet them.
“We didn’t even know who Phil was. I asked Phil who he was. I’m not that much into football. I don’t watch football at all. We didn’t even know that Mason played for Man United.
“We haven’t spoken to them since. We don’t want to interrupt them because they are of course going through a lot right now. They haven’t contacted us.
“They were nice guys. Really, really nice.”
Lara added: “They were just young. We were all young and stupid and we all make mistakes. They treated us really well. They were such gentlemen. Really nice guys.”
The FA have vowed to carry out a full investigation into the incident and allegations after the pair were removed from Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Manchester City star Foden, 20, has since issued a humbling apology on social media after being sent home from England duty in disgrace.
Foden said: “Following the story which has emerged today regarding my actions in Iceland, I want to make a full apology.
“I apologise to Gareth Southgate, to my England team mates, to the staff, supporters, and also to my Club and my family.
“When I was called up by Gareth for this games, my first reaction was that of immense pride. To pull on that shirt for the senior team in my England debut was an incredible privilege.
“I am a young player with a lot to learn, but I am aware of the huge responsibility I have in representing Manchester City and England at this level.
“On this occasion I made a poor decision and my behaviour didn’t meet the standards expected of me.
“I breached COVID-19 protocols put in place to protect myself and my England colleagues. As a consequence I will now miss the opportunity to travel to Denmark with the squad, and that hurts.
“I will learn a valuable lesson from this error in judgment and I wish Gareth and the team good luck this week.”
An FA spokesperson said: “Whilst in Iceland, both Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood spent time outside of our private team area, which was a breach of our COVID-19 rules.
“While they did not leave the team hotel, it was an unacceptable breach of our protocol. They have both apologised for their serious lack of judgement.
“The FA will be launching a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to this breach. We have spoken to the Iceland FA to offer our apologies for this incident and to ensure them that we are taking the appropriate steps.
“We have also assured the Danish FA that all other players and staff members have been isolated within our group throughout this period.
“Our immediate priority now is preparing the team for the match against Denmark tomorrow.”