A photo of Kyle Walker sucking in nitrous oxide through a balloon has appeared in the press, with the defender making an apology soon after.
England’s preparations for their critical World Cup qualifier against Ukraine on Tuesday have taken a hit, with the Sunday Mirror printing a photo of Kyle Walker inhaling a legal but potentially deadly gas through a balloon.
The photo of the Tottenham man was taken at a Sheffield nightclub in June, where Walker is seen sucking in the substance nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide is the latest fad on the party seen, but its use is legal. It is said to produce feelings of euphoria and has been nicknamed ‘hippy crack.’
The timing of the photo is not ideal given that Walker is set to turn out for England against Ukraine on Tuesday, and the player has issued an apology for his behaviour.
“I have now been made aware of the health risks associated with the practice and accept that my actions were of poor judgement,” Walker said in a statement released by Tottenham.
“I hope this will in no way influence or encourage others into putting their own health at risk.”
Walker also commented on Twitter with remorse.
“Apologies for not commenting sooner on a story about me today. I've been training and am focused on Tuesday's game for England.”
Substance abuse organisations have repeatedly given damming reports on the health risks associated with nitrous oxide, which include seizures, fits, strokes and even death.
The FA have decided not to take any action against Walker, stating that he has not broken any laws or done anything to threaten his place in the England set-up.
Despite this, Walker’s actions appear to go against the England player’s charter, which has those representing the nation liable for their actions at all times.
“Players representing England are ambassadors for their country and role models for younger players,” it reads.
“The highest standards of conduct and behaviour are therefore expected at all times, including when players are not on international duty.”
The photo and subsequent media frenzy that will follow are less than ideal in the preparations for the game against Ukraine. Walker will still play the game, but his build-up to the clash in Kiev will have been affected by the release of the story.
However, Walker has shown maturity in apologising for his behaviour and will seemingly be backed by the FA and Roy Hodgson.
Do you think Walker should still play against Ukraine? Has he breached the player’s charter?