Coronavirus: Mick McCarthy describes personal situation as ‘very frightening’

Ireland manager is self-isolating after near neighbours test positive for virus in London

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is self-isolating at his home in London after near neighbours tested positive for coronavirus. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire.

Ireland manager Mick McCarthy is self-isolating at his home in London after near neighbours tested positive for coronavirus. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire.

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Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy has said that both he and his wife, Fiona, are in self-isolation after near neighbours in London tested positive for coronavirus. He has described their situation as “frightening”.

McCarthy was to have travelled with the Irish team to Bratislava this week for the Euro2020 playoff game against Slovakia but that has been provisionally put back to June while the tournament itself has postponed until the summer of next year. Right now the manager is at home, with his wife, unable to have direct contact with friends or wider family.

“I should have been on the training ground at Abbotstown with the players today, getting ready for Slovakia and working on shapes and game plans,” the 61-year-old said in an interview for the FAI’s own website on Monday. “Instead, I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us.

“Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children, or our grandchildren, and it’s tough.

“It is very real now,” he continued. “You look at the footage of the Italian army carrying coffins from houses and it shows you where this could end up. That’s the threat this poses. We were in Amsterdam for the Nations League draw three weeks ago this Tuesday and Covid-19 was a topic of real interest – now it is a pandemic and it is spreading so quickly.

“Postponing our game in Slovakia and delaying the Euros for a year was the right thing to do. We are not complaining about that, not at all. It was the right decision by Uefa and we fully support it. Football will come back when the time is right and we have resolved all these issues. For now, we have to take notice of what’s happening in Ireland, in Britain and across Europe and the world.

“We are doing what the authorities are telling us and that is the message I want to send to everyone in Ireland today. Let’s do as we are told – let’s ensure we listen to the guidelines so that we don’t end up like Italy.”

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