Scotland: Head coach Shelley Kerr isolating and will miss Euro qualifier with Portugal

Scotland: Head coach Shelley Kerr isolating and will miss Euro qualifier with Portugal

Shelley Kerr will not be in the dugout for Scotland's qualifiers against Portugal and Finland
Shelley Kerr will not be in the dugout for Scotland’s qualifiers against Portugal and Finland

Scotland head coach Shelley Kerr will not take charge of the two upcoming crucial Women’s Euro 2022 qualifiers after being told to self-isolate.

Kerr has been deemed a close contact to a further Covid-19 case emerging from the Scotland Under-21 backroom staff.

Three players and a staff member tested positive during the break, with another two backroom team members now added to that list.

Scotland take on Portugal on Friday before hosting Finland next Tuesday.

Kerr’s side, who will now be overseen by assistant Andy Thomson, are currently third after four games, with the Portuguese a point ahead on 10 points, while the Finns top the group on 13.

“Shelley is understandably devastated at not being able to be with the squad for such an important double-header,” said Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell.

“[She] 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.”

Celtic manager Neil Lennon described the situation with the U21 squad as a “shambles” after David Turnbull was one of three players – along with Ross and Robby McCrorie – to test positive for Covid-19 on returning from international duty last week.

Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes also expressed his anger at losing three players, while Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson criticised the SFA’s communication after only being informed they would be without Allan Campbell and Barry Maguire the night before their match with St Johnstone.

Maxwell says four tests were carried out during the period and that protocols had been adhered to. However, he has instructed a “thorough review” to take place “to give clubs, the association and the government greater comfort”.

“I apologise for any and all disruption caused,” he said.

“It is important to clarify that the under-21 squad undertook four Covid tests on duty: one in the days prior to meeting and one on entry to the camp, both of which were in addition to the two official Uefa mandatory tests prior to each game.

“The events are especially disappointing given the A squad’s success in travelling to four different countries, including Scotland, for the recent triple-header with no positive cases reported.

“Our chief medical officer will continue to engage with his club counterparts and we have reminded all involved of the importance of adhering to all protocols at all times.”

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