England have qualified for the Euro 2020 knockout phase without kicking a ball on a chaotic day that saw Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell go into isolation after Scotland’s Billy Gilmour tested positive for coronavirus.
The Scottish Football Association announced on Monday morning that the 20-year-old midfielder had returned a positive Covid-19 result and would miss Tuesday’s crunch Group D encounter with Croatia.
Gilmour helped boost Scotland’s qualification hopes with a man-of-the-match display in Friday’s 0-0 draw at Wembley, where he interacted with Chelsea team-mates Mount and Chilwell.
The England pair are having to isolate on the eve of Tuesday’s game against the Czech Republic as a precaution following consultation with Public Health England, with discussions about the situation ongoing.
The fact Gilmour’s positive result appears to be having a bigger impact on the Three Lions than Scotland has left Gareth Southgate confused, but any stress over qualification was removed by results elsewhere on Monday.
Four of the best third-placed teams at the rearranged Euros progress to the knockout phase, with England’s four-point haul now guaranteed to put them in that bracket whatever happens against the pool-leading Czechs.
“Clearly it’s nothing to do with being on the pitch so that’s why there is no issue with teams training, for example.
“Going to when the Premier League restarted training and matches were shown to be a situation where there weren’t contacts for long enough for that to be a risk, so we’re just waiting to hear more information at this moment in time.”
He added: “It would be something to do with chatting after the game, but I have no idea of all the detail. That’s why we’ve taken the decision at this point to isolate them. That’s why we’re having to have the discussions with Public Health England, as I understand it.”
Southgate will, though, make sure England’s players are reminded of their duties.
“After what’s happened, I don’t think they will need us to tell them but for sure we will,” he said.
“I think you can see evidence at every match of interactions. I think these sorts of things do serve as a reminder that we are under a different sort of spotlight to most parts of the community and at higher risk of being forced to miss matches or whatever else.”