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Browne tests positive for coronavirus, hours after playing England

BREAKING NEWS: Ireland footballer Alan Browne had coronavirus while playing 90 minutes against England last night – as midfielder tests positive this morning to set alarm bells ringing before Iceland visit Wembley after their trip to Denmark

  • Alan Browne played the full 90 minutes for Ireland against England on Thursday
  • The Preston midfielder has now been isolated from the rest of the Ireland group
  • Browne is the second Ireland player to give a positive result in the past week
  • It comes ahead of England’s games against Belgium and Iceland this week 
  • England were only given a special exemption on Thursday from the government to play Iceland next Wednesday at Wembley 
  • The England squad reportedly did undergo COVID-19 testing on Friday morning and now face an anxious wait for the results  

Republic of Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has tested positive for coronavirus following Thursday night’s 3-0 friendly defeat against England.

Preston’s Browne, who played the full 90 minutes at Wembley, has been isolated from the rest of the group ahead of Ireland’s Nations League fixture against Wales in Cardiff on Sunday. 

However, it will give cause for concern for Gareth Southgate’s England side, who travel to face Belgium on Sunday before hosting Iceland next Wednesday – a game which will go-ahead at Wembley after the FA were given special permission by the UK government to host the game despite a travel ban for their opponents.  

Ireland’s Alan Browne (R) has tested positive for coronavirus after playing England last night

Browne played all 90 minutes for Ireland at Wembley and has been isolated from the group

Gareth Southgate’s England side play Belgium before hosting Iceland next Wednesday

The England squad did undergo Covid-19 testing on Friday morning as part of Uefa’s normal protocols, according to reports, ahead of Sunday’s game in Belgium and now face an anxious wait for the results. 

The Three Lions’ clash against Iceland was originally in doubt after a ban was imposed on arrivals from Denmark due to a new coronavirus strain that has spread from mink to humans. 

Under the new rules, Iceland would be denied entry as they will first play Denmark in Copenhagen on Sunday.

If they were not given an exemption to the ban, the FA would have been forced to find a neutral venue to stage the game — in either Germany or Albania — or risk forfeiting. 

But the Government later confirmed that Icelandic players will be allowed in without needing to self-isolate.

Iceland (left) will be travelling to London from Denmark as they have a match there on Sunday

Iceland will take on Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions at Wembley (above) on Wednesday night

Meanwhile regarding Browne’s positive test, a Football Association of Ireland statement said: ‘The Football Association of Ireland can confirm Ireland midfielder Alan Browne has tested positive for COVID-19. 

‘The player has been isolated from the group as per COVID-19 protocols, and the HSE and UEFA have been informed of this development.

‘There are no close contacts of the player and the rest of the staff & squad tested negative ahead of Sunday’s UEFA Nations League fixture against Wales in Cardiff.’

UK government guidelines state that anyone with coronavirus or who has symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days, meaning Browne is set to miss Ireland’s games against Wales, Bulgaria on Wednesday and Preston’s Championship clash against Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.  

Despite Browne’s positive test on Friday morning, the rest of the Ireland squad tested negative

Browne is the second Ireland player to give a positive result this week, with West Brom striker Callum Robinson having missed the England game for the same reason.

Aaron Connolly and Adam Idah had to sit out last month’s Euro 2020 play-off semi-final in Slovakia as close contacts of a member of staff who later tested positive on the flight to Bratislava. 

In addition, four more players were withdrawn on the squad’s return to Dublin after their semi-final defeat. 




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