Ireland manager McCarthy in ‘very frightening’ situation


London (AFP) – Ireland football manager Mick McCarthy is in self-isolation in London with his wife due to the coronavirus pandemic, describing their situation to the Football Association of Ireland website as ‘very frightening.’

The 61-year-old revealed two nearby neighbours had been diagnosed with the illness provoking him and his wife Fiona to self-isolate.

Britain ordered a three-week lockdown on Monday in a bid to slow the spread of coronavirus as the country’s death toll has climbed to 335.

McCarthy is in his second spell as Ireland manager and had been due to take the team to Slovakia for a Euro 2020 play-off first leg match.

However, Euro 2020 has been postponed to next year and the play-offs tentatively re-scheduled to June.  

“I am back home in Bromley and isolating as two of our near neighbours have been diagnosed with coronavirus and it is now very real and very frightening for us,” McCarthy said in an interview on the website.

“Like so many others, we are trying so hard to play by the rules here and stay at home. My wife Fiona and I are not seeing our children, or our grandchildren, and it’s tough. It is very real now.”

The England-born McCarthy renowned for being a no-nonsense centre back and former captain of Ireland — capped 57 times — cited the chilling images emanating from the hardest hit of the European countries Italy.

“You look at the footage of the Italian army carrying coffins from houses and it shows you where this could end up,” he said.

“That’s the threat this poses.

“We were in Amsterdam for the Nations League draw three weeks ago this Tuesday and Covid-19 was a topic of real interest -– now it is a pandemic and it is spreading so quickly.

“Postponing our game in Slovakia and delaying the Euros for a year was the right thing to do. We are not complaining about that, not at all.”

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