Gary Neville has criticised the decision to put England duo Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell into isolation because of close contact with Scotland’s Covid-positive Billy Gilmour.
The Three Lions’ preparations for Tuesday’s final Group D match were thrown into confusion when it emerged that the Chelsea pair had been in contact with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour, who tested positive for coronavirus.
Mount and Chilwell will now miss the pool decider at Wembley and could also miss England’s last-16 match, with qualification assured but their place in the group up in the air.
The Football Association said in a statement: “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 test following last Friday’s match.”
The statement continued: “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.”
And Neville has slammed the decision, describing the situation as an ‘absolute joke!’ on Twitter.
Absolute Joke! https://t.co/EwEV4SyvbT
— Gary Neville (@GNev2) June 22, 2021
Gary Lineker joined Neville in being perplexed by the decision, calling it ‘ridiculous’ and inisting they should simply be tested for coronavirus.
Ridiculous. Just test them. https://t.co/Pzza5hMgpC
— Gary Lineker 💙 (@GaryLineker) June 22, 2021
If England win Group D, Mount and Chilwell will be available for their last 16 clash, which will be on Tuesday 29.
If they finish second, they will miss it, with that fixture set for Monday 28.
Should they finish third they could also be unavailable, with the third placed team from from Group D playing on either the Sunday or Tuesday.