Saturday, March 2, 2024

Manchester United say Marcus Rashford ‘has taken responsibility for his actions’ after alleged nightclub visit

Marcus Rashford resumed training as normal at Manchester United on Monday after a “disciplinary matter” was at least partially responsible for his absence during the team’s FA Cup tie at Newport County a day earlier.

The England international was ruled out of the 4-2 win over Newport on Sunday, when manager Erik ten Hag cited illness. It was later alleged that Rashford called in sick after attending Thompsons Garage nightclub in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Thursday night before returning to Manchester on Friday morning. Rashford was visiting ex-United youth teammate Ro-Shaun Williams, who currently plays for Larne in Northern Ireland, according to The Guardian.

Man United opted to handle the issue internally, and issued a statement on Monday saying the matter was officially in the past. The decision frees up Rashford to play on Thursday, when United head to Wolverhampton Wanderers in a Premier League matchup.

“Marcus has taken responsibility for his actions,” the team statement read, according to The Athletic. “This has been dealt with as an internal disciplinary matter, which is now closed.”

The statement echoes ten Hag’s comments after Sunday’s match, when he played his cards close to his chest on the situation.

“He reported ill and the rest is an internal matter,” the manager said. “It is an internal matter. As I said, we will deal with it. I will deal with it.”

It marks the latest clash between ten Hag and his players over disciplinary issues, which has only added to the up-and-down nature of United’s season. Most notable among them was the manager’s dispute with Jadon Sancho in September, which the club described as a “squad discipline issue.” The club backed ten Hag’s account and so Sancho trained on his own for several months before joining Borussia Dortmund on loan this month, though the player insisted he was being scapegoated.

Ten Hag and United have had a notably inconsistent approach when disciplining players this season. Rashford, for example, was criticized by the manager but not punished in November when he was spotted at a nightclub hours after the team’s 3-0 defeat by Manchester City, while Antony was suspended for less than a month after investigations were opened in Brazil and the U.K. after the player was accused of assault. The investigations remain ongoing.

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