‘Absolute joke… Ridiculous, just test them!’: Gary Neville and Gary Lineker lead England fans’ fury as Covid contact rules force Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell into isolation, while Scotland can play on
- Gary Neville is among those to slam Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell’s isolation
- The England pair have been forced into isolation after contact with Billy Gilmour
- Both of the Chelsea stars will miss Czech Republic game and possible last-16 tie
- BBC host Gary Lineker called it ‘ridiculous’ and demanded the FA ‘just test them’
- Find out the latest Euro 2020 news including fixtures, live action and results here
Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have both 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.
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.
Gary Neville and Gary Lineker have both criticised the decision to put England duo Mason Mount (right) and Ben Chilwell (left) into isolation
Neville said it was an ‘absolute joke’ that the Chelsea stars will miss the Czech Republic game
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’ while former Manchester United and England right back Neville called it an ‘absolute joke’.
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.
Gary Lineker was also furious and described the news as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘utterly absurd’
The face of the BBC’s Euros coverage took to Twitter to call the decision ‘absurd’ on Tuesday
Mount and Chilwell must self-isolate after being recorded with Scotland’s Billy Gilmour on Friday
‘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 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’.
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