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Singapore head coach Ogura down with COVID-19; assistant Gavin Lee to take charge for Thailand match

SINGAPORE: Lions head coach Tsutomu Ogura will not be in the dugout for Singapore's final World Cup qualifier match against Thailand on Tuesday (Jun 11) as he is unwell after testing positive for COVID-19. 

National team assistant coach Gavin Lee will step in and take on coaching duties for the fixture, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) said in a media statement on Monday evening. 

FAS said that as of 4pm Bangkok time, Ogura and a member of the backroom staff have tested positive for COVID-19. 

The pair have since isolated themselves from the rest of the squad and the national team doctor is currently monitoring the rest of the backroom staff as well as the players as a precaution. 

Lee will take over coaching duties and "undertake all relevant responsibilities" from Monday for the fixture against Thailand on Tuesday at the Rajamangala National Stadium.

He was appointed by Ogura to "step in for this vital match", said FAS. 

FAS added that Lee has been an "integral part of the national team's coaching staff, assisting coach Ogura in previous matches against China and the Korea Republic together with fellow assistant coach, Kosei Nakamura".

Lee is also the head coach of Singapore Premier League side BG Tampines Rovers. 

"The Football Association of Singapore extends well wishes to Coach Ogura and his fellow backroom staff member for a speedy recovery and expresses confidence in Coach Gavin Lee as he guides the Lions in their quest for victory against Thailand."

Lee had been invited to join Ogura’s team for the March international window.

Ogura previously said that Lee's expertise and understanding of the players at the club level were vital.

Singapore have one point from five matches in the qualifying group.

Singapore lost