City ace Idah ‘perfectly fine’ after Euro play-off absence due to coronavirus precautions

Adam Idah has returned to the Republic of Ireland squad for a Nations League trip to Finland after a positive coronavirus test 
Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Adam Idah has returned to the Republic of Ireland squad for a Nations League trip to Finland after a positive coronavirus test Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Paul Chesterton

Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny confirmed Norwich City striker Adam Idah ‘is perfectly fine’ after the youngster was left out of his country’s Euro2020 qualifying penalty shoot-out defeat in Slovakia, after being in close contact who a member of staff who tested positive for coronavirus.

Idah and Brighton forward Aaron Connolly did not travel to the stadium for Thursday’s play-off exit as a precaution following the positive test for a second member of the Republic’s backroom staff.

Republic boss Stephen Kenny gave a further update after the defeat and appeared to suggest Idah will not need to self-isolate when he returns to the UK, which could have potentially ruled him out of the Canaries’ upcoming Championship game against Rotherham on October 17.

“We have different rules in Ireland than the UK,” said Kenny. “Much more stringent in terms of they would be deemed as close contacts to one of our non-footballing members of staff. It is very harsh to be ruled out. They are perfectly fine, there is nothing wrong with them but the two metre rule in Ireland is there. In the UK they would have been perfectly entitled to play.

“We had to abide by the medical advice. We did know earlier on and there was an appeal and we did appeal it on the basis of 1.7 metres compared to two metres, which is how far they were away. That wasn’t deemed sufficient. That is the way it goes. But the two lads feel fine.

“No other players are affected. We don’t have any issues in the camp. It was an issue with a non-footballing member of staff.”

The FAI had issued a brief statement prior to the tie, which read: “The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that a second member of the senior men’s international team backroom staff has tested positive for coronavirus ahead of tonight’s UEFA EURO 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia.

“The FAI employee had tested negative in Dublin on Tuesday morning but a positive result came from a test in Bratislava on Wednesday. He is asymptomatic and is feeling well.

“COVID-19 protocols have been executed and both UEFA and the HSE have been informed of this development. UEFA have also confirmed that the fixture against Slovakia tonight is not affected by this development. The Ireland squad and staff will be tested, as per UEFA protocols, in Dublin on Friday.

“The FAI will not make any further comment ahead of tonight’s UEFA EURO 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia.”

On the pitch, the game finished goalless after extra-time but Alan Browne and Matt Doherty failed to convert from the spot as Slovakia lined up a play-off final tie against Northern Ireland.

The news around Idah and Connolly followed on from Scotland duo Ryan Christie and Kieran Tierney missing their country’s play-off tie against Israel, after being told they must self-isolate for 14 days after their team-mate Stuart Armstrong tested positive for COVID-19 while on international duty.

Christie and Tierney both returned negative test results and have insisted they complied with social-distancing guidelines - yet they now face missing major games for club and country.

Arsenal full back Tierney is now ruled out of the Gunners’ clash with Manchester City the other side of the current international break.

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