Scotland Women’s head coach Shelley Kerr will have to self-isolate after being in close contact with a backroom staff member who tested positive for COVID-19.
Two positive tests were returned after an investigation which followed a number of cases being found in the Scotland Under-21 squad.
Kerr has been deemed a close contact of one of the positive cases, and will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days.
The Scottish FA say none of the backroom staff had been symptomatic at any point prior to the latest testing period.
The 51-year-old coach, who managed Stirling University’s men’s side from 2014 until 2017, will be unable to take charge of upcoming European Qualifying matches against Portugal and Finland. The squad will be led by assistant Andy Thompson, with Kerr communicating with her players on a remote basis.
Ian Maxwell, the Scottish FA Chief Executive, spoke of Kerr’s disappointment.
“Shelley is understandably devastated at not being able to be with the squad for such an important double-header,” he said.
“She has prepared extensively and meticulously with her support staff over a long period of time whilst following our protocols, but 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.”
Maxwell also responded to criticisms of the SFA’s testing protocols, which were called into question by several club managers over the weekend.
“… I can fully understand and empathise with the frustrations raised by clubs this weekend.
“Discovering on a matchday that players on international duty were considered close contacts of positive cases and therefore unavailable to the respective teams is hugely challenging to any club and I apologise for any and all disruption caused.”
“We have conducted an examination of protocols undertaken throughout the Under-21 camp and it is the view of our chief medical officer that they are in line with the established protocols outlined in the Return to Football documentation.
“However, given the number of positive cases and close contacts I have instructed a thorough review of all matters relating to the Under-21 camp to give clubs, the association and government greater comfort.”
Kerr’s Scotland side go into their qualifying double-header on the back of a 1-0 loss to Finland in late October. They sit third in Group E and must win both games to have any chance of finishing in first place.