The Football Association has offered its support to Raheem Sterling after England forward revealed a tattoo of a gun on his right leg. The Manchester City player, 23, said the tattoo had a "deeper meaning" after criticism from anti-gun campaigners.
Sterling said on Instagram it reflected a vow to "never touch a gun" after his father was shot dead when he was a boy.
An FA spokesperson said: "We all support Sterling and acknowledge the honest and heartfelt account he gave."
The statement added: "He and the rest of the squad are focused solely on preparing for the forthcoming World Cup."
Sterling, who will travel to Russia this summer as part of England's World Cup squad, revealed his tattoo on Instagram in a photo of himself training with team-mates at St George's Park.
In a later post, he wrote: "When I was two my father died from being gunned down to death. I made a promise to myself I would never touch a gun in my lifetime.
"I shoot with my right foot so it has a deeper meaning."
He added that the tattoo was unfinished.