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Euro shock Covid test that led to Connolly and Idah's omission from Ireland line-up was a false positive

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Adam Idah was forced to withdraw at the last minute from the team to face Slovakia

Adam Idah was forced to withdraw at the last minute from the team to face Slovakia

SPORTSFILE

Adam Idah was forced to withdraw at the last minute from the team to face Slovakia

Players switched seats on flight to Slovakia before missing crunch Euro tie

The Ireland camp are reeling after it emerged that the Covid-19 test which indirectly ruled Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah out of Thursday's playoff defeat in Slovakia appears to have been a false positive.

It's understood that Stephen Kenny and his management team are still waiting for clarity on the results of tests carried out on Friday to see if there are implications for today's UEFA Nations League encounter with Wales.

The fresh twist as regards the loss of Connolly and Idah for the game in Bratislava has only served to compound frustration and anguish around that episode.

They weren't able to play as they were deemed close contacts of an FAI backroom staff member who received a positive Covid-19 diagnosis in Slovakia on Wednesday.

However, sources have said that individual was tested again upon their return to Ireland and came back Covid negative, a fairly extraordinary development after Saturday was dominated by discussion of the chain of events that led to Connolly and Idah coming into close contact with this person on the flight over.

Effectively, this means that the players needlessly missed out on the fixture, although the FAI were following HSE protocols on the understanding that they were dealing with a positive case in that area of the plane.

The positioning of Connolly and Idah on board was a major talking point on Saturday, especially when Kenny confirmed the duo had not taken their designated seats, instead moving to a row behind the staff member who had tested negative before flying but positive a day later in Bratislava.

This latecomer to the Irish senior team bubble was drafted in after Monday's round of group tests which showed up one positive amongst the intended travelling delegation - two other people had to restrict their movements and stay behind as a consequence.

Only three tests were conducted for UEFA purposes in Slovakia on Wednesday morning - late playing addition Josh Cullen and two replacement backroom staff members, one of whom learned bad news about their result later that night.

This set off the sequence which resulted in 'close contacts' Connolly, Idah and two staff members missing the crunch encounter and staying in the hotel while Kenny's team lost on penalties.

The FAI had to arrange transport to bring the affected parties home on Friday at considerable expense.

It's understood Connolly and Idah will not be returning to the squad having gone back to the UK even though it's believed this would technically be possible within rules and regulations.


Online Editors