BOSSES at the national football centre in Burton have revealed that they have pinpointed the source of a sickness bug which forced the England senior football team to stay away from the £105m facility.
Officials at the Football Association (FA) confirmed that an investigation at St George’s Park had uncovered that the illness which swept through the Hilton Hotel since the weekend had been brought in via an ‘external source’.
News that stars such as England captain Steven Gerrard and Wayne Rooney would not be heading to Burton ahead of friendly games against Chile and Germany was broken by the Mail online on Monday night.
FA chiefs insist that the move to organise alternative training and accommodation arrangements for the senior team and England’s under-21 team in London and Milton Keynes respectively was just a ‘precaution’ and that the centre was still open as normal to staff, customers and the public.
A spokesman for the FA said: “We were advised of a suspected stomach virus that was discovered on site at St George’s Park and affected a small number of visitors over the weekend.
“The England Under-21 squad, who were already at the centre, have not experienced any symptoms related to the virus.
“However, as a precautionary measure, the Under-21s moved hotels and the England senior team did not meet at the site yesterday.
“This is an elite athlete precaution for the two senior teams. Normal operations continue for the St George’s Park.
“Our investigations have revealed that the virus was brought into the centre from an external source and investigations are ongoing.
“We would also like to stress that the England’s team diversion from the centre is a one off occurrence and they will be returning to the centre, as per normal, in the future.”