England and Scotland Under 19s game called off in first half after positive Covid-19 test



The Scottish Football Association revealed after the postponement that manager Billy Stark returned a positive test on Thursday

A friendly match between the England and Scotland Under 19s teams was called off during the first half after the visitors’ coach tested positive for Covid-19.

England were 3-1 up at St George’s Park when officials called off the tie because the results of Billy Stark’s test came to light.

The Scottish Football Association confirmed in the wake of the match that the players and staff were tested on Thursday in preparation for the second fixture against England that was scheduled to be played on Sunday, though it has now been postponed.

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“The under-19s squad and backroom team all delivered negative Covid-19 tests on Sunday to enable them to play in today’s match against England,” a statement on the SFA website read.

“Three players based in England joined-up with the squad yesterday – and they and the rest of the squad were tested again with a view to Sunday’s second match.

“The three players had been in isolation and had no contact with anyone else. None the less, despite testing negative during Sunday’s test, the head coach, Billy Stark, returned a positive test for Covid-19 this afternoon.

“The result of the second test was immediately relayed to the under-19 team manager and the game was abandoned immediately, in line with established Covid-19 protocol.

“Billy will now travel home in isolation and will self-isolate for 10 days. The playing group and the rest of the backroom team will undertake precautionary self-isolation for 14 days, whilst the Scottish Government undertakes a formal risk assessment to assess who Stark was in close contact with during the camp.

“Scotland Under-19s game against England on Sunday has now been postponed along with the scheduled Under-17s match at St. George’s Park on Saturday.”

England Under-19s’ match with Scotland at St. George’s Park this afternoon was abandoned in the first half as a precaution in line with COVID protocol. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.

— England (@England) October 8, 2020

Meanwhile, a statement from England’s Football Association read: “England Under-19s’ match with Scotland at St. George’s Park this afternoon was abandoned in the first half as a precaution in line with Covid protocol. We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”

The England senior team is also based at St George’s Park but the incident at the U19 match is not expected to affect the Three Lions before they face Wales in a friendly at Wembley on Thursday.

Gareth Southgate’s team will then take on Belgium at home in the UEFA Nations League on Sunday and continue their campaign with a match against Denmark three days later.



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