The manager of the Three Lions of England, Gareth Southgate, and Chelsea’s technical director, Petr Cech were not happy about the avoidable absence of Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount from the Euro 2020 Group D win over the Czech Republic on 22 June 2021.
The head coach of the team described the absence of the two Chelsea players as being “a bizarre situation”. While Petr Cech said it was incomprehensible.
Recall that Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount made headlines on Monday, June 21, when it was confirmed that Scottish midfielder, Billy Gilmour who is their teammate at Chelsea had contracted the dreaded coronavirus.
The connection between Gilmour, Ben Chilwell, and Mason Mount was that the trio had close contact on Friday after England’s 0-0 draw with Scotland. Though Chilwell didn’t play in the match, he chatted with the Scottish midfielder and embraced him after the game.
Also, Mount who played the game had a chat with Gilmour on and off the pitch after the Euro 2020 Group D match. Hence, they had to go into isolation when it was confirmed that the Scottish footballer had tested positive for COVID-19.
The announcement was a big surprise for most football fans because Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount tested negative for the virus on Monday just like every other member of the England team.
Aside from that, no player in the Scottish team was forced to self-isolate despite sharing the same locker room with Gilmour before and after the match on Friday. It was also believed that the midfielder must have had contacts with his teammates during training last weekend and in their team’s hotel.
Still, the health authorities in the ongoing European Championship felt Ben Chilwell and Mason Mount should self-isolate while the Scottish players were exempted.
Unfortunately for Southgate, he played the Group D game against the Czech Republic on Tuesday, June 22, without his full squad but still manage to end the night with the maximum three points which made England finish as Group D leaders.
While Scotland played Croatia with their full squad with an exception of Billy Gilmour who tested positive for the virus. They ended the night bottom of Group D.
Yet, Southgate could not hide his displeasure over the absence of Ben Chilwell and Mason. He was hugely disappointed for the victimization of the two players even though he didn’t count against them when they faced the Czech Republic on Tuesday.
“We just have to get on with it,” Southgate told ITV. “It is a bizarre situation, they have spent 120 seconds too long in a fairly open space. It is full of contradictions for me, but we will get on with it.
“I don’t understand it because there are teams traveling und by planes, coach, and by bus in enclosed spaces for hours, and our two boys have been pinged. I really don’t get it.”
While the technical director of Chelsea whose country, the Czech Republic lost to England on Tuesday, took to his Instagram page to speak up against the decision of the health authority of the tournament to force Mount and Chilwell into self-isolation.
He wrote: “Please could someone help me understand how is it possible Mason Mount and Ben Chilwell – both with negative tests – have to isolate after they got in contact with Billy Gilmour while the entire Scottish team who shared the dressing room, hotel, coach and plane while traveling, dining room, the meeting room is allowed to play the game without any problem because they returned the required negative tests? What is the difference between them returning the same test results? It is incomprehensible…”