A friendly between England and Scotland’s U19s was abandoned just before half-time after players learned of a positive Covid-19 result from a backroom member of Scotland’s staff during the game.
The match was taking place at England’s base of St George’s Park in Burton upon Trent on Thursday afternoon, the first of a planned double-header against Scotland.
Statements from both the Scottish and English FA confirmed the tie was abandoned “as a precaution in line with COVID-19 protocol”.
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It is understood information came through during the latter stages of the first half that a member of Scotland’s backroom staff had tested positive.
English FA: “The England men’s under-19s’ match with Scotland at St. George’s Park on Thursday afternoon was abandoned in the first half as a precaution, in line with COVID-19 protocol. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”
Scottish FA: “We can confirm Scotland U19s match against England at St. George’s Park this afternoon was abandoned in the first half as a precaution in line with COVID-19 protocol. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”
The game was immediately abandoned, with both teams returning to their separate changing rooms, where they had prepared for the friendly.
A deep clean of all the areas where the Scotland and England players and staff have been is under way at St George’s Park.
The abandoned game has had no impact on any other age group squad present at St George’s Park because all England squads are working and living separately in their own bubbles.
There is no further information at this stage about whether any of the players or staff from either nation will be required to self-isolate.
Armstrong, Tierney, Christie out of play-off after positive test
Scotland’s senior side were hit by news of a positive coronavirus result ahead of their crucial Euro 2020 play-off against Israel on Thursday night.
Stuart Armstrong tested positive for Covid-19, while duo Kieran Tierney and Ryan Christie came in close contact with the Southampton midfielder.
Armstrong is to isolate for 10 days while Tierney and Christie are required to self-isolate for 14 days from Tuesday, October 6.
As well as the Israel match, the trio will also be absent for Scotland’s Nations League matches at home to Slovakia and the Czech Republic on October 11 and 14 respectively.
Scotland head coach Steve Clarke also revealed defenders Scott McKenna and Liam Palmer, plus attacker Oliver Burke, will miss all three matches through injury.
Clarke said: “We have lost six players from the squad. It is up to us to make the nation smile tomorrow night. We know we have the nation behind us.”
Tierney out of Man City clash, Christie to miss Old Firm derby
The 10-day period of self-isolation for Armstrong means he could return for Southampton in their next Premier League match at Chelsea on October 17.
For Arsenal defender Tierney however, the 14-day self-isolation means he is set to miss their league match at Manchester City on October 17, live on Sky Sports.
Celtic midfielder Christie – who scored in Scotland’s 1-1 draw with Israel in September – is set to miss the Old Firm derby against Rangers, also scheduled for October 17, live on Sky Sports.
Arsenal and ‘frustrated’ Tierney seeking clarification
An Arsenal statement confirmed the club want more details as to why Tierney has been asked to self-isolate, claiming their player was socially distant “at all times” from Armstrong.
It read: “Our medical team have confirmed that Kieran was socially distant at all times from the player who tested positive and has broken no rules regarding COVID-19 protocols. We are currently seeking further advice and clarification of the details.”
The statement added Tierney told the club: “I’m so disappointed and frustrated to be in this situation. I have adhered to all regulations and made sure I was socially distancing from my team mates in the hotel. I’ve also tested negative. I know Arsenal and the SFA are now in discussions with the Scottish authorities to gain a further understanding.”
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