An FAI staff member who tested positive for Covid-19, which led to Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah being withdrawn from their squad to play Slovakia, was in fact a false positive according to reports in Ireland.
Brighton striker Connolly and Norwich's Idah were forced to self-isolate and miss their Euro 2020 play-off semi-final against Slovakia - who they lost to on penalties - because they reportedly sat 1.9 metres and 1.7 metres away respectively from the Covid-19 positive individual on the plane to Bratislava.
The staff member tested positive upon arrival which, despite appeals from the Football Association, forced Connolly and Idah to be removed.
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It is now being reported that the staff member privately tested negative when he got back to Dublin. However, it is not yet known if the latest test was conducted by UEFA’s official laboratory diagnostics provider SYNLAB, whose results are the only ones recognised by European football’s governing body.
The42 reports Idah and Connolly will miss Ireland's Nations League matches against Wales on Sunday, with further Covid-19 tests to take place for the whole squad and the FAI's travelling party, but could return against Finland on Wednesday.
Connolly was due to start against Slovakia under manager Stephen Kelly and the 48-year-old looks set to have more selection issues.
Another Irish player tests positive, four more stood down
An unnamed Irish player has been withdrawn from the squad for Sunday's Nations League game against Wales in Dublin following a positive Covid-19 test and four other players will also stand down, the Football Association of Ireland said in a statement.
"A player – who cannot be named at this time - tested positive on Friday after a negative test on Monday but his case is not related in any way to that of the backroom team member who tested positive on Monday last," the FAI said.
"Talks with the HSE (Irish Health Service Executive) late last night identified four other players as close contacts of this positive case and they have been stood down from the matchday squad for today’s game against Wales."
Additional reporting from Reuters.