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Shelley Kerr to miss Scotland games after U21s virus outbreak

Scottish FA chief apologises after string of players were forced to miss club games.

Shelley Kerr to miss Scotland games after U21s virus outbreak SNS Group

Scotland women’s team manager Shelley Kerr will miss the next two European qualifiers after being told to self-isolate.

Kerr was identified as a ‘close contact’ of a men’s under-21 team staff member who tested positive for coronavirus.

She won’t be able to take charge of the games against Portugal and Finland next week.

An outbreak among the under 21 squad meant 11 players were forced to miss weekend matches for their clubs – angering managers who demanded answers and prompting an apology from the Scottish FA on Monday.

During re-testing as part of an investigation, two more backroom staff members tested positive, one of whom was close contact of Kerr.

Chief executive Ian Maxwell said: “Shelley is understandably devastated at not being able to be with the squad for such an important double-header.

“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.”

The Scottish FA said a “thorough review” would now take place into “all matters relating to the under-21 camp”.

Aberdeen trio Ross McCrorie, Connor McLennan and Lewis Ferguson were among those forced to sit out weekend fixtures, and they’ll remain on the sidelines for their club’s next two games.

Maxwell said: “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.

“I will also be keen to work with the clubs to optimise elements of the protocol from their perspective, especially around departure from international duty.”