Idah re-joins Republic squad after negative coronavirus test

PUBLISHED: 11:50 12 October 2020 | UPDATED: 11:50 12 October 2020

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

Norwich City striker Adam Idah has been cleared to link up with the Republic of Ireland squad for a midweek Nations League trip to Finland after his negative coronavirus test result.

The Football Association of Ireland confirmed on Sunday Idah will re-join Stephen Kenny’s squad to cap a turbulent few days for the Canaries’ youngster. Idah was originally left out of last Thursday’s Euro2020 play-off defeat in Slovakia after he was deemed a ‘close contact’ of a backroom member of staff who had recorded a positive test result.

That subsequently has been reported as a ‘false positive’ following a further test when the squad returned to Dublin but Idah and Brighton’s Aaron Connolly had already re-joined their clubs. The teenager was tested by Norwich prior to the weekend and was not part of the Irish squad that drew 0-0 in the Nations League with Wales on Sunday.

However, Idah has returned a negative test result and been cleared by his club to link up again with his international set-up, who fly out to Helsinki on Tuesday to take on Teemu Pukki’s Finland. The news also means Idah will be available for City’s return to Championship action at Rotherham United on Saturday.

It had emerged over the weekend in the Irish media the initial episode involving Idah and Connolly was due to them sitting in the wrong seats on the plane to Slovakia which put them in close proximity to the member of staff who was initially thought to have returned a positive result.

Former Republic of Ireland international and until recently the FAI’s interim deputy CEO, Niall Quinn, insisted Uefa should have handled last week’s incident involving Idah and Connolly far better.

“I can’t see how this is an FAI problem,” he told the Irish Examiner. “UEFA got this terrible wrong in Slovakia and it set a chain of events in place.

“One thing I’m going to do here, I’m going to stand up for the operations team and backroom staff, who have hardly got any sleep in the last week. To be sold a pup by UEFA and by the testing in Bratislava, they’re a hell of a bunch of people who are working really, really hard,

“The damage was done with the false test, but to compound matters when we come back, a test takes place of another player who finds himself positive for Covid-19.

“When you look at the sustainability of all this, the problem is how long it’s taking for all those test results to come back in an elite sporting environment.”

“I think it has taken 28 hours for each test to come back and when you’re together for a game that’s 3 or 4 days apart, in order to make this work, you’re going to have 40, 50, 60 players in the next squad.

“It’s something that I think after this round of games, Uefa need to look at. I can’t see how you would think this is an FAI problem. Uefa got this terribly wrong in Slovakia.”

Kenny has been forced to draft in a total of five new players for the Finland trip after an additional five different players missed out against Wales when one returned a positive test result and the other four were deemed to be ‘close contacts’.

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