Sunday 25 October 2020

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Cork Independent


The week that kept giving

Wednesday, 14th October, 2020 2:36pm

It’s funny times we find ourselves in the moment. I sometimes feel as if I’m drifting along in some sort of bonkers parallel universe. If I actually sat down and gave heavy thought to the fact we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and that life may never return to total normality, I doubt very much if I’d be able to get back up for quite a while afterwards.

I still harbour the belief that we will get back to normal ways at some point, and that any changes on the back of the pandemic will be ones that are for the better.

In hindsight, how unnecessary is a handshake? More often then not you were only ever doing it with strangers…cross contamination at its finest so more fools were us for carrying that tradition for so long.

The soap opera that the FAI found themselves in over the course of the last week further added to that feeling of paranormality.

It all started last Thursday when Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah were unavailable to play Ireland’s crucial playoff against Slovakia, as they were deemed close contacts with a member of the backroom staff who had tested positive for Covid-19. Connolloy and Idah are involved in the business of goals, something Ireland is seriously lacking, so this news was a pain, but we’ve almost become accustomed now to losing out to Covid-19 so we got on with it. It then transpired that Connolly and Idah had sat in the wrong seats on the flight to Slovakia, and that’s why they were deemed close contacts to the staff member. Bad luck? The wheels of annoyance were starting to turn but still, that’s Covid-19 life as we know it. On Sunday morning it emerged that the backroom staff member had received a false positive, so the whole Connolly and Idah debacle need never have happened at all. Ugh.

Later that morning, hours before we were due to play Wales, the wheels fully came off when it was confirmed that a player had tested positive, with four further players ruled out as close contacts. Those four had been due to start on Sunday afternoon. The FAI voodoo doll, no doubt, was lying in tatters somewhere at this point. What else could go wrong? But as if often the case with Irish soccer, just when you think you’ve heard it all, then comes the encore.

The player who received a positive result on Sunday, was told on Monday that Covid wasn’t detected, only to get a positive result again on Tuesday. Keeping up? Me neither.

Not for the first time, the FAI found themselves in an utterly bizarre mess. The only positive to come from the last week (if you’ll pardon the phrase) was Stephen Kenny’s team performances which have been a breath of fresh air. We just need to sort out the lack of goals but they will come. Conolly and Idah had thankfully rejoined the squad for last night’s tie against Finland, the result of which I don’t have at the time of writing this. Hopefully we were able to top off an utterly mad week in the best way possible, and I’ll say no more on that note, the last week has been cursed enough as it is.


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