Fresh twist in Scotland U21 Covid outbreak as two more test positive and 'devastated' coach forced to self-isolate

The Scottish FA is to conduct a “thorough review” into the Scotland Under 21 Covid outbreak after further retesting over the weekend identified another two positive tests among the backroom staff.

Scotland manager Shelley Kerr has to self-isolate for 14 days and miss the upcoming Euro qualifiers. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The SFA also confirmed that "in reviewing the aircraft and bus manifests”, a further five further close contacts have been established from the backroom team and they are also now self-isolating, however, no additional players are affected, which will come as a relief to the clubs concerned.

Scotland Women’s head coach, Shelley Kerr is among those identified as a close contact of one of the new positive cases, “despite following physical distance guidelines and protocols late last week”, the governing body stated.

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Kerr will now self-isolate for 14 days and will therefore be unable to take charge of the upcoming UEFA European qualifiers to Portugal and at home to Finland.

Ian Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, said: “Shelley is understandably devastated at not being able to be with the squad for such an important double-header. She has prepared extensively and meticulously with her support staff over a long period of time whilst following our protocols but will still play an active part in the preparation of the team, albeit remotely, and we have the utmost confidence in the players and staff to pull together and win their upcoming matches.

“In general terms, and as a former club chief executive, I can fully understand and empathise with the frustrations raised by clubs this weekend. Discovering on a matchday that players on international duty were considered close contacts of positive cases and therefore unavailable to the respective teams is hugely challenging to any club and I apologise for any and all disruption caused.

“We have conducted an examination of protocols undertaken throughout the under-21 camp and it is the view of our chief medical officer that they are in line with the established protocols outlined in the Return to Football documentation. However, given the number of positive cases and close contacts I have instructed a thorough review of all matters relating to the under-21 camp to give clubs, the association and government greater comfort. I will also be keen to work with the clubs to optimise elements of the protocol from their perspective, especially around departure from international duty."

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