Second Ireland player tests positive for Covid-19

Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny during a Republic of Ireland training session at the FAI National Training Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin.

Stephen Kenny's preparations for the Nations League clash with Finland on Wednesday have been thrown into further disarray by a second Republic of Ireland player testing positive for Covid-19.

Five players were ruled out of Sunday's 0-0 draw with Wales due to the first positive case and with those players still missing, Kenny had already bolstered his options by calling up six additional players for the trip to Reykjavik.

The sextet includes Adam Idah and Aaron Connolly, who missed the Euro 2020 play-off defeat to Slovakia and match against Wales, as they were deemed close contacts of an FAI staff member who tested positive for Covid-19 in Bratislava.

It subsequently emerged that the staff member's test was a false positive, meaning Kenny was needlessly denied two attacking players for the play-off, a match that was decided by a penalty shootout.

The entire Ireland squad was tested once more on Sunday night, when the second positive case was detected. It is not yet known how many, if any, other players will be deemed close contacts and excluded from the travelling party.

FAI interim chief executive Gary Owens expressed his own frustrations with the protocols ahead of the Wales game on Sunday.

"We do need to review with UEFA and the HSE on the protocols itself and if they are fit for purpose for international games," he said.

"This is all new for everybody. Everybody will pick up exactly what are the key learning points. I think in particular UEFA  and the HSE because we follow their protocols, we have to feed into them exactly what we think could be changed as a result of it.

"You need testing on the ground, you can't just have testing coming in. We need very quick results to the testing because if you need to add squad players you have to do it quickly."

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