England Women's friendly away to Germany in Wiesbaden has been cancelled after a positive COVID-19 test result for a member of the Lionesses' backroom staff, with the FA prioritising the safety and welfare of their players.
The current COVID-19 protocol enforced by the German government requires that any individual who tests positive whilst in the country must self-isolate for 14 days. The FA have said that they 'cannot take the risk that this may happen to a player or member of England staff'.
The remainder of England Women’s October camp at St. George’s Park has been cancelled and the players will return to their clubs today, while the next Lionesses game will take place on Tuesday 1st December against Norway at Sheffield United's Bramall Lane.
Tuesday's game was due to be England's first fixture in over seven months after their last matches taking place in the SheBelieves Cup before lockdown, but this will now not be the case.
On the decision, the FA's chief executive Mark Bullingham said:
“This has been a difficult but necessary decision. Nothing is more important than the safety, health and wellbeing of the players and colleagues under our care.
“We are very grateful to the DFB for their cooperation and understanding and look forward to the possibility of a future fixture in healthier and safer times.”
Many have questioned the need for international football while a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across Europe, with numerous players in the men's game testing positive. Indeed, New Zealand cancelled their game against England amid fears that they could not guarantee being able to bring a squad over for the game amid Covid-19 travel restrictions.
'The right course of action'
In an announcement about the game being cancelled, head coach Phil Neville said:
“While we all wanted to play Tuesday’s game, this was absolutely the right course of action. I thank Germany’s staff for their understanding and our FA colleagues for their support.
“I know the fans were hoping to see us play again but I am sure they will understand the decision. We have still had a good week of training and are looking forward to getting together next month before our match against Norway in Sheffield.”