Liverpool’s Raheem Sterling and Jordon Ibe in new shisha pictures
Raheem Sterling has become embroiled in a fresh controversy after images have appeared showing the Liverpool striker holding a shisha pipe – alongside team-mate Jordon Ibe.
Pictures – reportedly taken in September last year – published in the Daily Mail on Wednesday morning show 20-year-old Sterling sitting alongside teenager Ibe in a London bar, with both holding shisha pipes.
This is the third set of pictures involving Sterling. He was first pictured in the Sun with a shisha pipe at the weekend, and on Monday night video footage was released showing the England star appearing to inhale the legal high nitrous oxide and then pass out.
Reds boss Rodgers has already said he will talk to Sterling about the reports concerning his off-field behaviour.
Liverpool have not commented on the latest pictures.
Deputy chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, Bobby Barnes, speaking on Tuesday, believes Sterling has made a mistake but has urged understanding.
Barnes said: "Nobody would condone the use of these types of substances whether legal or otherwise as footballers are seen as role models.
"It does send a message to young people that if it’s good enough for footballers then it’s good enough for them and that is not desirable.
"But you have to bear in mind that we ask an awful lot of young players growing up in the public eye.
"Many of us look back at things we have done in our teens and early 20s and wish we hadn’t done them.
"Players have to be aware that there is camera on every corner and they are very much in the spotlight.
"He’s a young man, growing up in public eye and he’s made a mistake. Let’s not be too hard on the boy.
"He is under a lot of pressure and people think because he has a lot of talent he’s also supposed to have diplomacy and wisdom.
"In the main he’s doing a very good job, he’s at a good club and has a good manager and I’m sure Brendan will put his arm around him and at the same time make him aware of his responsibilities."
The matter adds to the controversy and currently surrounding Sterling amid a wrangle over a new contract.
Sterling has already angered supporters by admitting he had rejected a £100,000-per-week deal in an interview that was not sanctioned by the club.