Ireland player tests positive again for Covid despite negative result yesterday

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Press Association
13/10/2020 6.30am

The FAI have confirmed that an unnamed player has tested positive for Covid-19 for the second time, despite earlier testing negative.

The result extends the testing saga which saw the same player test positive on Sunday following a UEFA test, test negative on Monday morning, before the last positive result from a test taken later on Monday.

The news of the negative result came as striker Aaron Connolly was allowed to meet up again ahead of the Nations League fixture in Finland tomorrow.

Connolly, along with Adam Idah, was withdrawn from the squad ahead of Thursday night’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia following what proved to be a false positive result for a member of the non-football staff.

A statement from the FAI released this morning said: "The FAI can confirm that the player who initially tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday night is now out of the Ireland squad for the UEFA Nations League game in Finland, after the second of two tests on Monday produced a positive result.

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"The player will now self-isolate for the next 10 days as per HSE guidelines. No members of the Irish squad or the backroom team have been identified as close contacts of the player."

The statement added that manager Stephen Kenny will not make any call ups any replacements to the squad ahead of tomorrow's match despite the player having to miss out.

Coronavirus protocols have severely disrupted manager Kenny’s plans over the last week, with Connolly due to start in Bratislava where Ireland ultimately lost on penalties.

John Egan, Callum Robinson, Callum O’Dowda and Alan Browne missed out against Wales due to coronavirus restrictions (PA)

John Egan, Callum Robinson, Callum O’Dowda, Alan Browne and Derrick Williams all missed Sunday’s 0-0 draw with Wales in Dublin after the unnamed player tested positive.

The fact that the 20-year-old Brighton striker and Norwich counterpart Idah could have played after all did little to ease the pain of defeat.

The Republic’s ranks were further depleted when defender Kevin Long had to leave the field with a badly swollen eye after a clash with Wales striker Kieffer Moore, and midfielder James McClean was later sent off for a second bookable offence.

Kenny, who was already without the injured Seamus Coleman, James McCarthy, David McGoldrick, Harry Arter and Darragh Lenihan, has also called up West Brom defender Dara O’Shea and Derby’s Jason Knight, who were on Under-21s duty in Pisa ahead of Thursday’s European Championship qualifier against Italy, and QPR’s Ryan Manning and Portsmouth’s Ronan Curtis.

Ireland have taken just two of the first nine Nations League points on offer – they drew 1-1 in Bulgaria before the stalemate against Ryan Giggs’ men either side of a 1-0 home defeat by Finland – and are yet to win in four attempts under their new manager.

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