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FAI confirm member of Ireland’s backroom staff has tested positive for COVID

Contact tracing has resulted in two additional staff members now restricting their movements

The FAI have confirmed that a member of the international team backroom staff has tested positive for Coronavirus.

In a statement, they said: “COVID-19 protocols have now been executed and contact tracing has resulted in two additional staff members now restricting their movements. All three backroom staff members are asymptomatic and are well. The two close contacts have tested negative. All players, management team and other backroom staff members have also tested negative.

It adds: “Public Health has been informed and have written to the FAI confirming compliance with public health advice and permission for the squad, coaching staff and rest of the team to travel to Slovakia this afternoon.”

Slovakia also have their own COVID-related concerns for the match.

Former Newcastle United defender Lubomir Satka is almost certain to miss out, due to COVID.

An outbreak of the virus at his Polish side, Lech Poznan, has forced the club to place the entire squad in quarantine for five days.

Elsewhere, the status of Napoli midfielder Stanislav Lobotka is a major concern for the Slovakia camp. Over the weekend, two Napoli players have tested positive for COVID-19, meaning they were unable to travel to face Juventus on Sunday.

It’s understood that Lobotka is stuck in Naples due to Italian COVID regulations, although the Slovakian FA are doing all they can to get an exemption for him to travel for the match.

Stephen Kenny’s men head to Slovakia this afternoon ahead of their crunch one-legged Euro 2020 play-off in Bratislava on Thursday.

In terms of the squad,  Seamus Coleman is unavailable due to a hamstring injury with Cyrus Christie replacing him. Darragh Lenihan and Harry Arter have also been ruled out after picking up injuries playing for their clubs on Saturday meaning Kevin Long has been called up as a replacement.

The play-off is the first of three matches in the space of a week with Nations League matches against Wales in Dublin on Sunday and a trip to Helsinki on Wednesday to face Finland following the Slovakia tie.

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