England duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are in doubt over Euro 2020 clash with the Czech Republic after isolating themselves as a precaution following their interaction with Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour, who tested positive at coronavirus.
Mount and Chilwell hugged and spoke to Gilmour on the pitch following England’s draw against Scotland at Wembley on Friday and also reportedly spoke with their Chelsea teammate in the tunnel for 25 minutes after the game, before moving on to move on to return a positive test on Monday.
The three Chelsea players had not seen each other since returning to London after winning the Champions League final in Porto on May 29.
Mount and Chilwell – along with the rest of Gareth Southgate’s squad – have both returned negative tests for Covid-19, but it is not yet known whether the duo will be available to play in the final match of the group stage. of Tuesday against the Czech Republic.
When asked if the pair would be in good shape for Tuesday’s game, Southgate replied: âWe don’t know at this time.
“There must obviously be some doubt, but there is still a lot of discussion and investigation going on behind the scenes, so at the moment they are isolating themselves and we just have to find out in the next 12 hours or so. .
âWe had been working with the players this morning on the training ground, so of course you find out at the end that this is the situation, so I can’t say it’s not disruptive of course.
âWe don’t really know at this point if they could be okay with tomorrow or if they could be out for 10 days, so there are frankly a lot of unknowns at the moment.
âAlthough we worked on the training ground, we had not confirmed the squad. We put in players and moved them, so we had not yet confirmed the squad and we will wait until the morning when we will be really clear on the final situation of the two boys as to our position. “
A statement from the Football Association read: “As a precautionary measure for now and in consultation with Public Health England, Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount are isolating themselves after interacting with Scotland player Billy Gilmour in Friday’s game.
âThe pair will be kept away from the rest of England players and the wider support squad, pending further discussions with PHE. The entire squad underwent lateral flow testing on Monday after- noon and all were negative again, as was the case with the pre-UEFA Sunday match PCR tests.
“We will continue to follow all Covid-19 protocols and UEFA’s testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.”
With England’s place in the last 16 already secured, the pair not being available for Tuesday’s game is not a major concern for Southgate, but a possible 10-day isolation period could exclude them from the first knockout game next week.
Gilmour, who impressed against England in his first international start, was left out of Scotland’s final group stage game against Croatia with all four of Group D still in a position to advance to them. round of 16.
Southgate puzzled by Scotland’s lack of isolation
Scotland have not been instructed to put any other player in self-isolation after Gilmour tested positive.
Asked about coronavirus protocols, manager Steve Clarke replied: “It’s not my department. My department is preparing the team for a massive game against Croatia and that’s what I focused on.”
On Gilmour, manager Clarke said: “He is upset, as you would expect. He has no symptoms, I hope his health will be maintained.
“Billy would have started the game and now he won’t, so it’s a chance for someone else to come into the squad and be a national hero.”
Southgate appeared to admit he was slightly stunned that his players had been forced to self-isolate, while the Scottish players who shared a dressing room with Gilmour had not.
âI don’t know all the factors behind this,â he said. “It is clear that it has nothing to do with being on the pitch, which is why there is no problem with training teams for example.
âI don’t want to cause any drama for Scotland, but if you’re all in the locker room together, where is it?
“Our medical staff take care of all this, I am updated as regularly as possible, ie every hour or so, there is a little more information and we have to accept whatever the situation and adapt to it is the world we all live in in every family, in every sport and in every business. “