Furious Three Lions fans have today blasted coronavirus rules which mean two England stars who came into contact with Covid-positive Scotland midfielder Billy Gilmour have to self-isolate – while his own teammates do not.
England stars Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell are now facing six more days in quarantine after a tunnel chat with their Chelsea teammate in the aftermath of Friday’s 0-0 draw at Wembley.
But, in a bizarre twist, no other Scotland player, apart from Gilmour, will have to self-isolate.
It means Scotland go into their game against Croatia with a near-full strength squad, while England will be without star midfielder Mount and left-back Chilwell against Czech Republic.
Both have tested negative for Covid since coming into contact with Gilmour.
Football pundits have today slammed the decision, while England fans have also hit out, describing the situation as ‘farcical’.
England fan Mike Davies, of Tunbridge Wells Kent, told MailOnline: ‘It is a disgusting decision. I can’t believe it.
‘When you think of the fact that Billy Gilmour was in a changing room with his Scottish teammates after the match, it just doesn’t make sense.’
Another fan Ian Greener, from Wakefield who works for Network Rail as an engineer, said: ‘It is a farcical position. It is just crazy.
‘But I believe that if they had quarantined the Scotland team, then their match with Croatia wouldn’t have been able to take place tonight.
‘That would’ve messed up the whole group and delayed matches for everyone else. At the end of the day it’s all about money for UEFA. Is that plain and simple.’
Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have both criticised the decision to put England duo Mason Mount (right) and Ben Chilwell (left) into isolation
Mount and Chilwell must self-isolate after meeting with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour on Friday
Neville (left) said it was an ‘absolute joke’ that the Chelsea stars will miss the Czech Republic game. Lineker (right) was also furious and described the news as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘utterly absurd’
It was confirmed on Tuesday morning that England boss Gareth Southgate will be without both players for their final Euro 2020 group game against Czech Republic.
Both of the Chelsea stars will have to isolate until Monday, June 28 because of their close contact with Gilmour during and after Friday night’s 0-0 draw with Scotland at Wembley.
Scotland, who have been given the all-clear for their game with Croatia on Tuesday night, confirmed on Monday that Gilmour had tested positive for Covid just days on from his man-of-the-match display against the Three Lions.
It means Mount and Chilwell are out of action for 10 days and could miss two matches at the Euros, depending on where England finish in the group.
BBC host and former England striker Lineker labelled the decision to put them into isolation as ‘ridiculous’, adding ‘just test them’, while former Manchester United and England right back Neville called it an ‘absolute joke’.
Chelsea technical director and former Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech was also left confused by the decision, insisting it is ‘incomprehensible’ that Scotland have not been disrupted.
The face of the BBC’s Euros coverage took to Twitter to call the decision ‘absurd’ on Tuesday
Chelsea technical director and ex-Czech goalkeeper Petr Cech said it is ‘incomprehensible’ that Scotland have not been disrupted
He posted on Instagram: ‘Please could someone help me understand how is it possible for Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell – both with negative tests – have to isolate after they got in contact with Billy Gilmour while the entire Scottish team who shared the dressing room, hotel, coach and plane while travelling, dining room, meeting room is allowed to play the game without any problem because they returned the required negative tests?
‘What is the difference between them returning the same test results? It is incomprehensible…’.
Both players said they were “gutted” at having to sit out Tuesday’s match as a result of their interaction with Gilmour.
Midfielder Mount wrote on Twitter: “I’m absolutely gutted to have to miss tonight’s game. I’ll be cheering on the boys as usual and ensuring that I’m ready to go again when called upon. Come on @England!”
Defender Chilwell posted: “It’s a tough one to take and I’m gutted but I want to wish the boys all the best tonight in the game, I’ll be cheering you all on.
“I will make sure i am ready for when i can rejoin the squad. Lets go @England!”
A statement from England read: ‘We can confirm that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount must isolate up to and including next Monday [28 June]. This decision has been taken in consultation with Public Health England.
‘The pair were confirmed overnight as close contacts of Scotland’s Billy Gilmour after his positive COVID-19 test following last Friday’s match.
‘Chilwell and Mount will isolate and train individually in private areas at England’s training base St. George’s Park, with the rest of the squad returning there after tonight’s fixture against Czech Republic at Wembley.
‘We will continue to follow all COVID-19 protocols and the UEFA testing regime, while remaining in close contact with PHE.
‘The entire England squad and staff had lateral flow tests on Monday and all were again negative, as was the case with Sunday’s UEFA pre-match PCR tests. Further tests will be carried out as and when appropriate.’
The Scotland midfielder’s Chelsea colleagues Mount, who played the entire 90 minutes, and Chilwell, who was an unused substitute, were photographed standing next to – and embracing – the Scot after the game.
Southgate added that his two players also met up with Gilmour in the tunnel area after the game – and that has since been deemed a breach of Covid protocols.
Mount embraced Chelsea colleague Gilmour – who has since tested positive for Covid-19
It has cost them any involvement in the final match of Group D, as well as any involvement in group training through until the last-16 of the tournament.
Mount and Chilwell will be isolated and will be required to train individually at St George’s Park.
England players underwent extra lateral flow testing on Monday, with all of them returning negative tests.
Similarly, the 25 remaining players in the Scotland squad were not deemed close contacts with Gilmour and therefore also all trained together on Monday, after returning negative lateral-flow tests.
Scotland captain Andy Robertson, earlier on Monday, deleted a video of himself playing ping-pong with Gilmour and John McGinn.
England fans were also perplexed by the decision for Mount and Chilwell to isolate while Scotland have been allowed to carry on as normal.
@m_herbstritt tweeted: ‘Mount and Chilwell having to isolate due to hugging and chatting with Gilmour after the game yet no one else in the Scotland team have to despite being in the same bubble and sharing a dressing room. Makes no sense to me’.
@Bowie531967 posted: ‘This is ridiculous. Mount and Chilwell have to isolate for having a chat with Gilmour yet his own teammates that he spends all his time with don’t?? Someone explain this to me. Swear to God this is being made up as we go along’.
Another user agreed, adding: ‘Nah mate, apparently not a single Scottish player was anywhere near Gilmour at any point. He hung out with Mount and Chilwell immediately after the match, then sat in the corner 20ft from all his teammates all the rest of the evening.
@patrick_yerby posted his theory, writing: ‘My only theory is everyone in the Scotland team hates Gilmour and everyone in the England squad hates Mount and Chilwell… So no one got close to the 3 of them otherwise I can’t wriggle my way out of this’.
Source: Daily Mail UK