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Scotland to face Czech Republic squad made up of ‘new players’

The Scots will travel to Olomouc on Sunday as originally planned after UEFA gave the game the green light.

Scotland to face Czech Republic squad made up of ‘new players’ SNS

Scotland will face a Czech Republic team made up of “new players” after UEFA stated the game will go ahead as scheduled.

Steve Clarke’s plans were thrown into disarray late on Friday night when the Czech FA announced Monday’s Nations League match was off due to a coronavirus threat.

The decision came after West Ham midfielder Tomas Soucek and RB Leipzig striker Patrik Schick were told to self-isolate following contact with a backroom staff member who tested positive for the virus

However, the Scots will travel to Olomouc on Sunday as originally planned after both nations and UEFA confirmed the game would go ahead.

The Czech national team – which is currently at the top of the group following a 3-1 win over Slovakia – risks forfeiting points if it doesn’t take to the field on Monday.

In a statement on Saturday, a spokesperson said “representation was threatened with contumacy if it could not start”, but the Football Association of the Czech Republic (FACR) leadership “managed to avert that”.

Due to UEFA’s Covid-19 protocols and to avoid any potential spread of the virus, Friday’s winning team will be unable to play and Monday’s line-up will instead feature new players.

Coach Jaroslav Silhavy will also be unable to lead the team.

On Friday, Scotland drew 1-1 with Israel.

Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell expressed his satisfaction that the Czech Republic fixture could be completed after they got “categorical assurances” the tie will be played in a safe and secure environment.

He said: “We were as surprised as UEFA to learn of the statement posted on the official FACR channels last night.

“Following extensive conversations late last night and this morning we have received categorical assurance that the match goes ahead.

“Furthermore, Czech Republic have confirmed they will be able to fulfil their obligations to the match and, more importantly, to the stringent Covid-19 testing regime that is sacrosanct to ensure the safety of our players and staff.

“While we empathise with all national associations during this period of global uncertainty, none the less we required and received absolute assurance that we will be entering a safe and secure environment having worked diligently in Scotland to maintain safety and adherence to UEFA’s necessary Covid-19 protocols.”