England manager Gareth Southgate has never started a knockout game at a big tournament without Sterling but Bukayo Saka and Phil Foden will line-up either side of Harry Kane against the African champions.
An FA statement said: “Raheem Sterling is not available for selection for the Three Lions tonight as he is dealing with a family matter.”
Southgate said “I had quite a bit of time with him this morning but I have had to pass that on to other people to help him with that.”
Asked whether he will stay with the squad should England progress, Southgate said: “He is going to go and deal with that matter and then we will have to take it from there really.”
The last England knockout game Sterling did not start was the defeat to Italy in the quarter-final of Euro 2012, and he starred on their run to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and the Euro 2020 Final.
Sterling scored in England’s opening game of the World Cup in Qatar, the 6-2 thrashing of Iran, and kept his place for the 0-0 draw against the USA.
He was rested, along with Saka, for the 3-0 win over Wales, with Marcus Rashford and Foden coming in.
Rashford scored twice but it was not enough to keep his place against Senegal, and the Manchester United forward joins Jack Grealish and James Maddison on the bench at Al Bayt Stadium.
Saka for Rashford is Southgate’s only change from the win over Wales, as experienced pair Jordan Henderson and Kyle Walker kept their places in the side.