Young Newcastle United player sees international match abandoned after positive virus result
A bizarre international match for one Newcastle United young star.
The 17 year old NUFC midfielder Elliot Anderson selected for Scotland to play England at Under 19 level.
Negative tests were returned by players and staff from both teams before the game at the English FA’s St George’s Park training complex on Thursday.
However, with England leading 3-1 at half-time, to the astonishment of the young Newcastle United midfielder and everybody else, the game was dramatically abandoned.
With the two sides scheduled to meet each other again on Sunday, a second round of virus testing had been required as per the protocols.
These returned a positive case for Billy Stark, who is the Scottish Under 19’s head coach.
Receiving the news midway through the match, it was instantly abandoned, along with Sunday’s planned rematch being cancelled.
The Scottish Football Association has released a statement (see below) and apologised.
Scottish Football Association statement:
“Further to our earlier statement regarding the International Friendly Match between Scotland and England under-19s, the Scottish FA can clarify the situation that led to the abandonment of the game.
“The under-19s squad and backroom team all delivered negative COVID-19 tests on Sunday to enable them to play in today’s match against England.
“Three players based in England joined-up with the squad yesterday – and they and the rest of the squad were tested again with a view to Sunday’s second match.
“The three players had been in isolation and had no contact with anyone else. None the less, despite testing negative during Sunday’s test, the head coach, Billy Stark, returned a positive test for COVID-19 this afternoon.
“The result of the second test was immediately relayed to the under-19 team manager and the game was abandoned immediately, in line with established COVID-19 protocol.
“Billy will now travel home in isolation and will self-isolate for 10 days. The playing group and the rest of the backroom team will undertake precautionary self-isolation for 14 days, whilst the Scottish Government undertakes a formal risk assessment to assess who Stark was in close contact with during the camp.
“Scotland Under-19s game against England on Sunday has now been postponed along with the scheduled Under-17s match at St. George’s Park on Saturday.
“We apologise to The FA for any inconvenience caused and reiterate our commitment to the health and safety of all our international players and staff.”
The England Football Association statement:
“England Under-19s’ match with Scotland at St. George’s Park this afternoon was abandoned in the first half as a precaution in line with Covid protocol.
“We are not in a position to comment further at this time.”
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