England Under-19s versus Scotland Under-19s abandoned after coach tests positive for COVID-19

A friendly match between the England and Scotland Under-19 sides was abandoned on Thursday after Scottish head coach Billy Stark tested positive for coronavirus.

The Football Association initially confirmed the game was halted in the first half “in line with COVID-19 protocol”, with the teams then returning to their dressing rooms at St George’s Park when England were leading 3-1.

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) later revealed that Under-19s boss Stark, 63, had returned a positive test.

A statement from the SFA read: “The Under-19s squad and backroom team all delivered negative COVID-19 tests on Sunday to enable them to play in today’s [Thursday] match against England.

“Three players based in England joined up with the squad yesterday [Wednesday] – 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. Nonetheless, 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.”

The senior England side face Wales in a friendly at Wembley later on Thursday, with Scotland taking on Israel in a Euro 2020 play-off semi-final.

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