Mason Greenwood, the Manchester United and England forward, has admitted showing “poor judgement” for the second time in a week after being caught on camera inhaling a nitrous oxide balloon.
The 18-year-old reportedly took the “laughing gas” with a female friend weeks before his England debut was plunged into scandal by his Covid-19 bubble breach with women at a hotel in Iceland.
After footage was published by The Sun newspaper, Manchester United confirmed the incident in a statement sent on Greenwood’s behalf to the Daily Telegraph.
“I have now been made aware of the health risks associated with this practice and accept that even trying it, as shown in these historical pictures, was poor judgement on may part,” Greenwood said. “I strongly urge others not to follow my example. Although I am only 18, I fully realise that I have privileges and responsibilities, but this week I have also learned that I will be judged to a higher standard because of my career as a footballer and I must respect that in future. I will learn from these lessons and I am determined to repay the faith shown in me by my manager and coaches.”
There is no suggestion of illegal activity by Greenwood. The footage came to light less than a week after he was sent home following his England debut after it emerged he and Phil Foden, the Manchester City player, had invited women back to the team hotel in Iceland.
Greenwood has issued an unreserved apology earlier in the week for “letting down” England manager Gareth Southgate.
The Sun has now reported Greenwood inhaled the gas in a Manchester apartment a few weeks ago and images of him appeared on the social media website Snapchat.
A host of Premier League have previously been criticised over their use of the party drug, which is illegal to sell or import the drug for human consumption. Nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”, is normally bought in pressurised canisters. It is then transferred to a container such as a balloon to be inhaled.