Gareth Southgate has seen his Euros plans plunged into chaos by three players who were seen having a 25 minute chat in the tunnel.
And if Public Health England and UEFA deem that as being in “close contact” then Chilwell and Mount will have to self isolate for ten days and miss a potential last 16 tie as well as tonight’s crunch Group match with the Czech Republic.
Pictures were taken of the three players on the pitch after Friday night’s game but it is understood it is nothing to do with that and the potential coronavirus rule breach came with their lengthy chat in the tunnel.
It is yet another hammer blow for England boss Southgate who has seen his plans disrupted by injuries, withdrawals and players reporting up late after the two European finals.
But this latest farce is a serious blow with the Football Association, the England team and Southgate kept in the dark over whether the players will be available which makes it a nightmare in terms of preparation.
Southgate confirmed: “t would be something to do with chatting after the game but I have no idea of all the detail. That’s why we’ve taken the decision at this point to isolate them.
“That’s why we’re having to have the discussions with Public Health England, as I understand it, and I’m sure we will update you as soon as we know more.
“We’re not being overzealous in that we’ve got to follow the guidelines and got to make sure that if there is any risk with these two players then we’ve got to make sure we don’t put any other players at risk.
“But the ins and outs of what would classify as being contact – they are the discussions that are ongoing.
“My biggest hope is for the two boys – that they’re not going to miss 10 days of a European Championship. That would be a massive blow for us, but for them as well. We just have to see how it plays out.”
England teenager Jude Bellingham is on standby to replace Mount if he is not available with Southgate set to stick with his front three of Harry Kane, Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden.
Chilwell was not guaranteed of a start but was in contention while Harry Maguire may also come in for Tyrone Mings. It would be an incredible story for Bellingham, 17, to make his first competitive start in such a crunch match.
Southgate insisted that he was not angry with his players, more frustrated that his pleas in March that players should be considered for vaccination were not listened to which would have avoided this latest fiasco.
Southgate added: “You need to go back to my suggestions in March around that when I was fairly firmly shouted down for daring to suggest anything of the sort so I did propose but of course at that time I said I totally understood where we stood in the pecking order
“To be honest we’ve been living on edge with that the whole season. As yet, we haven’t had a positive test in one of camps.
“We’ve been one of the few countries in Europe but we’ve never been patting ourselves on the back about that, we know there’s an element of good fortune within that.
“But every round of testing you’re waiting wondering if you’re going to have to make a change to your team and this is the first time it’s happened to us.”