Soccer Aid 2021 going ahead despite Roman Kemp COVID withdrawal

The annual charity match takes place at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium this evening.

Roman Kemp

Tonight’s Soccer Aid match will still be going ahead, despite a member of the Soccer Aid teams 2021, Roman Kemp, having to withdraw from the game following a positive COVID test.

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There were fears the event might be put on hold after the Capital FM presenter and former I’m A Celebrity contestant tested positive – but it appears that no other cases have been recorded and the match will take place as planned.

Posting on social media on Friday, Kemp wrote, “I’m absolutely gutted. I’ve had a positive test come through so I won’t be playing at @SoccerAid tomorrow night.

“I’ll be cheering from a sofa and hope that everyone donates as much as they can for the cause. Come on Soccer Aid World XI FC!”

Kemp had been set to line up in Harry Redknapp’s World XI for the third consecutive year, but his teammates will now have to do the job without him as they aim to beat the England side for the third time on the bounce.

A statement from Soccer Aid read, “Unfortunately Roman has had to withdraw from the match tomorrow, we’re so thankful for everyone giving up their time for a great cause and will announce our starting lineup tomorrow.”

The annual charity match once again sees an array of former football pros line up alongside famous faces from the worlds of TV, music and entertainment, with both returning players and some debutants set to take to the field.

Among the footballing legends making their Soccer Aid bows are England trio Wayne Rooney, Gary Neville, and Paul Scholes, while the World XI can count on the likes of Brazilian legend Rivaldo, and former Manchester City pair Nigel De Jong and Pablo Zabaleta.

After last year’s match had to take place behind closed doors due to COVID restrictions, fans will be welcome back into the ground this time – with the match being played at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium.

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Dermot O’Leary will present the action alongside Alex Scott, while Maya Jama will be returning to offer her take on the action after proving a popular pundit last time out.

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