The Icelandic women who met Phil Foden and Mason Greenwood in a Reykjavík hotel room say they did not know the pair were England footballers.
Foden, 20, and Greenwood, 18, were flown home in disgrace on Monday night because their meeting with the two women breached the England team’s coronavirus regulations. They had arranged to meet the two local women on the seventh floor of the team hotel, while their team-mates were confined to the third floor.
New pictures emerged last night showing Foden, who has a long-term girlfriend and a one-year-old son, semi-dressed in a hotel room. He has apologised for his “poor decision”.
One of the women who met the England pair, model Nadia Sif Lindal Gunnarsdottir, 20, told The Daily Mail that she had been in contact with Greenwood before the England football team flew out to Iceland but did not realise what his job was.
“I feel really sorry for them and I never wanted to put them in that position,” she said. “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.”
She added: “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.
“It was a good night that we had, of course. We were all the four of us spending time together and getting to know each other. They were really nice guys.”
The second woman, law student Lara Clausen, 19, said she regretted posting videos of the meeting on Snapchat.
“I did not realise how famous these guys were. I do not watch football and have never done,” she said.
“I did not realise what I was putting on the internet. I had to learn the hard way that not everything is online, you have to be careful what you put on the internet.
“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 and Greenwood have both apologised for their misbehaviour, which came after they made their international debuts in England’s narrow victory over Iceland on Sunday.
He wrote on social media: “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 these 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.”
Greenwood said: “Having now had the chance to reflect on what’s happened, I can only apologise to everyone for the embarrassment I have caused.
“It was irresponsible of me to break the Covid-19 protocols which are in place to protect players, staff and the public. In particular, I want to apologise to Gareth Southgate, for letting him down, when he had shown great trust in me.
“Playing for England was one of the proudest moments in my life and I only have myself to blame for this huge mistake. I promise my family, the fans, Manchester United and England that this is a lesson I will learn from.”