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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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By ESPN Staff

Beckham: Gambling 'no problem' in England camp

England captain David Beckham has dismissed claims of a rift in the squad caused by card schools and other gambling debts - and insists the only card game he plays is snap.

There were reports of a fall-out between England strike pairing Wayne Rooney and Michael Owen over the former's alleged gambling debts of £700,000 to a bookmaker friend of the Newcastle forward.

However, Beckham believes there is no problem in the England set-up.

'The banter and the togetherness of the England team is too strong to be affected by card schools,' he said.

'In our squad it's impossible for the players to fall out over something like that. There have always been card schools in football, but there is no problem and there never has been.

'The team spirit is the best since I started playing for my country.'

Speaking specifically about the reported rift between Rooney and Owen, Beckham added: 'People were saying there was an issue between Michael and Wayne, but it's just because they are the two main centre-forwards that people want to say that.'

Beckham revealed he is not much of a gambler himself, and said: 'I like going horse racing sometimes just for a day out, but I have never been a card man in my life. The only thing I've played is snap.'