"It's very harsh they were ruled out" - Stephen Kenny frustrated at Ireland's Covid advice 3 months ago

"It's very harsh they were ruled out" - Stephen Kenny frustrated at Ireland's Covid advice

Stephen Kenny has confirmed that Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah missed out on the Slovakia playoff because of coronavirus measures.

Two of Ireland's most exciting young attackers were ruled out not long before the must-win clash after being deemed close contacts of a backroom team member who had tested positive - the second of which in the Republic camp.

James McClean started ahead of Connolly and, as it was, produced a goal-saving intervention but Ireland were left to rue a number of missed chances as the Slovaks won on penalties and advanced to play Northern Ireland in the decider at Windsor Park.

And Stephen Kenny was left frustrated at Ireland's "more stringent" rules which meant that Connolly and Idah had to isolate instead of get involved in the game.

"We have different rules in Ireland than you have in the UK," Kenny explained after the game.

"They're much more stringent. They would be deemed close contacts to one of our non-footballing staff.

"It's very, very harsh that they were ruled out. They're perfectly fine. There's nothing wrong with them.

"The two metre rule in Ireland is not in the UK, I believe it's not. If we were in the UK, they would be perfectly entitled to play but Ireland has more stringent rules and we have to abide by the medical advice."

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The Irish manager went on to explain that they appealed the decision because it was said to be a matter of centimetres.

"We appealed it on the basis of 1.7 metres to 1.9 metres, that's how far they were away. As opposed to 2 metres which would've been sufficient.

"That's the way it goes, we can't do anything about that. 

"The two lads are fine. They feel fine, they feel perfectly well. Everyone is fine in the camp, it was just one of the rules that we have to adhere to, really."