England have suffered a shock in the road on their Euro 2022 mission after head coach Sarina Wiegman tested positive for COVID-19.
The news emerged just hours before the Lionesses face Northern Ireland at Southampton’s St Mary’s Stadium in their final Group A game.
Dutch boss Wiegman will isolate at England’s team hotel.
In a statement, the Football Association said: “England head coach Sarina Wiegman has tested positive for COVID and will undertake a period of recovery at the squad’s base camp. Assistant coach Arjan Veurink will lead the team for tonight’s fixture against Northern Ireland.
Speedy recovery, Sarina! ❤️
Assistant coach Arjan Veurink will lead the #Lionesses for tonight’s fixture against Northern Ireland.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 15, 2022
“Wiegman will remain in remote contact with the players and technical staff and will be monitored regularly with a view to returning to all elements of her role as soon as possible.”
England have already won their group so know their quarter-final will take place next Wednesday against the Group B runners-up, who will be Denmark or Spain.
A number of COVID-19 cases have already hit the tournament, with Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema a notable recent case.
Miedema scored twice for the Netherlands in the Euro 2017 final win over Denmark, when Wiegman was the Dutch team’s head coach.
The 52-year-old Wiegman took up her appointment as England boss in September 2021, handed the task of leading the hosts into the European finals.
Wiegman appeared at an England pre-match news conference alongside goalkeeper Mary Earps on Thursday, and took training. England started their campaign by winning 1-0 against Austria before inflicting an 8-0 thrashing on Norway.