Idah and Connolly ruled out at the 11th hour due to coronavirus contact
Duo understood to have been ‘close contacts’ of one or both staff members that tested positive for Covid-19
Aaron Connolly was not involved in Ireland’s Euro 2020 playoff semi-final against Slovakia in Bratislava. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly were late withdrawals from the Republic of Ireland squad for the game in Bratislava last night, with manager Stephen Kenny confirming after the defeat on penalties that the reason was coronavirus related with two members of association staff having tested positive for the virus over the past few days.
Idah was present at a media event in Dublin on Monday which was attended by a number of players. The following day one of the staff members present tested positive while the second case was confirmed in a subsequent round of testing undertaken in Bratislava.
With no suggestion at this stage that either of the two players actually tested positive themselves, it seems that they were withdrawn from the game on the basis that they were regarded as “close contacts” of one or both staff members.
It is believed that this may have been on the basis of time spent at an event for the association’s own media output. The entire squad and support staff are due to be tested again after arriving home today.
It is not yet clear whether negative tests for the two players at that point will allow them to resume full participation in the squad and allow manager Stephen Kenny to select them for the Uefa Nations League games against Wales in Dublin this coming Sunday and away to Finlan