England have suffered a bump 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.
“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.
Speedy recovery, Sarina!
Assistant coach Arjan Veurink will lead the #Lionesses for tonight’s fixture against Northern Ireland.
— Lionesses (@Lionesses) July 15, 2022
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.