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Jermain Defoe back in England Following Death Of Father

In tragic news that should shift public attention away from the Rio Ferdinand furore and onto something that actually matters, England forward Jermain Defoe has returned home from the team’s Euro 2012 training base in Krakow following the death of his father.

The 29-year-old striker will be given compassionate leave for the duration of the tournament but is expected to return to the squad in due course and England boss Roy Hodgson has not selected a replacement for the player, despite having star striker Wayne Rooney suspended.

A statement issued by Defoe’s club, Tottenham Hotspur, read: “Everyone at the club sends their sincere condolences to Jermain and his family,” and the player has also already received an outpouring of support on Twitter despite the news only breaking earlier this morning.

Although he was unlikely to figure in the starting line-up for England’s first game against France in Donetsk on Monday, the absence of Defoe – who is seen by Hodgson as an impact sub – will nevertheless come as a blow for a team whose preparations have already been rocked by injuries.

Should the England team manage to get it all together and perform in the group stage it looks likely that Defoe could again hook up with the squad in a later round – and for his father’s grieving family and friends, seeing Defoe pull on the three lions in Euro 2012 would be a welcome reprieve.
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