Scotland Women head coach Shelley Kerr will miss the upcoming Euro 2022 qualifiers against Portugal and Finland in order to self-isolate, after being identified as a close contact of a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.
Scotland Men’s U21 backroom staff were retested over the weekend after three squad members, including Celtic’s David Turnbull and an unnamed Aberdeen player, tested positive for the virus.
Two further positive cases were identified in the second round of testing. Those staff members are now required to self-isolate, along with five close contacts – including Kerr.
She will now self-isolate for a 14-day period and will miss the crucial qualifiers against Portugal on November 27, and Finland on December 1.
“Shelley will engage with the players and staff on a remote basis over this period and the group will be led by Shelley’s assistant, Andy Thomson, supported by Billy Stark and Paul Brownlie, the Scottish FA High Performance Manager who was involved with the Scotland Women’s National Team throughout the Women’s World Cup,” read a Scottish FA statement.
Ian Maxwell, chief executive of the Scottish FA, added: “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.”
Maxwell also apologised for the disruption caused by the outbreak in the U21 squad, with 11 players instructed to self-isolate after returning to their clubs.
“In general terms, and as a former club chief executive, I can fully understand and empathise with the frustrations raised by clubs this weekend,” added Maxwell.
“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.”