Ireland Ireland squad member tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of...

Ireland squad member tests positive for Covid-19 ahead of Wales clash

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A member of the playing squad for Ireland’s Sunday afternoon Nations League clash with Wales has tested positive for Covid-19, throwing preparation for the game into disarray.

Stephen Kenny now has to select from a severely depleted playing squad for Sunday’s match as four other players are also isolating as close contacts of the confirmed case, and David McGoldrick was also ruled out on Saturday with a non-coronavirus related injury.

Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah have also been withdrawn from the squad and missed Thursday’s Euro 2020 playoff semi-final defeat to Slovakia, as they were deemed to be close contacts of a member of FAI non-playing staff who tested positive for the virus Wednesday night.

A player – who cannot be named at this time – tested positive on Friday after a negative test on Monday but his case is not related in any way to that of the backroom team member who tested positive on Monday last.

In a statement, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said: “Stephen Kenny’s Ireland squad has received one positive Covid-19 test result ahead of today’s Nations League game against Wales at the Aviva Stadium, after the latest round of UEFA testing.

“A player – who cannot be named at this time – tested positive on Friday after a negative test on Monday but his case is not related in any way to that of the backroom team member who tested positive on Monday last.

“Talks with the HSE late last night identified four other players as close contacts of this positive case and they have been stood down from the matchday squad for today’s game against Wales.

Testing

“In a separate development, the FAI can now reveal that the staff member who tested positive for Covid-19 in Bratislava on Wednesday, may have received a ‘false positive’ result.

“Two further tests carried out on the individual on Saturday have confirmed no trace of Covid-19. The HSE and UEFA have been informed of this result. The FAI will now discuss the issue with UEFA.

“In light of these developments, the FAI wishes to make it clear that it complied with all UEFA and HSE Covid-19 guidelines concerning the availability of players and the well-being of staff around the Slovakia v Republic of Ireland fixture in Bratislava on Thursday night.”

The statement said: “Manager Stephen Kenny will review his options for Wednesday’s UEFA Nations League game in Finland after today’s fixture against Wales. The FAI will review all Covid-19 protocols with UEFA and the HSE after the Finland game.”

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