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Nomads may face disrepute charge over manager’s post-match comments

Connah’s Quay Nomads manager Andy Morrison. Picture: NCM Media

The FAW is investigating whether post-match comments made by Connah’s Quay Nomads manager Andy Morrison following last night’s 1-0 Europa League defeat to Dinamo Tbilisi have brought Welsh football into disrepute.

Morrison said the club “had to turn a blind eye” to players who turned up feeling unwell for the second qualifying round tie at Wrexham.

The game went ahead despite three players having tested positive for Covid-19 beforehand.

The trio and a fourth player, who had not had a positive test at that stage, are in self-isolation.

In a statement earlier today, Connah’s Quay denied “turning a blind eye” to coronavirus regulations and insist Morrison’s comments have been “misconstrued”.

“In a post-match interview with various media outlets, manager Andy Morrison used the term ‘turned a blind eye’ which has unfortunately been misconstrued by many to mean that as a club we ignored Covid regulations,” they wrote.

“We would like to go on record and say that this is categorically untrue and that what the manager was referring to was a number of players who may not have played had we had a fully fit squad.

“Morrison clarified this in a tweet on his own personal Twitter account, indicating that a number of players had suffered from isolated pre-match upset stomach and headaches likely down to nerves due to being thrust into the starting line-up.”

The FAW responded with this statement:
“In relation to the UEFA Europa League qualifying round two match between Connah’s Quay Nomads and Dinamo Tbilisi in Wrexham on 17 September, the Football Association of Wales is satisfied that all COVID-19 protocols were followed in order for the game to go ahead.

“As a result of the mandatory UEFA testing under their COVID-19 protocols for European competitions, it was confirmed that three Connah’s Quay Nomads players tested positive for the virus and were isolated from the rest of the squad.

“One further player was identified as being in contact with those that had received a positive result and was immediately told to self-isolate at home and is now awaiting a further test for the virus.

“The club’s doctor followed the national guidance and informed the relevant health authorities where the players reside to allow track and trace procedures to be implemented.

“The FAW is further satisfied that the club followed the advice of Public Health Wales and the UEFA protocols in order for the match to go ahead as scheduled once the positive tests had been confirmed.

“In accordance with both FAW and UEFA protocols, the squad, staff and officials completed daily medical questionnaires prior to matchday and on matchday itself.

The UEFA stadium entry procedures were also completed, which included a further temperature test and the negative COVID-19 result paperwork.

“The Racecourse Ground and Wrexham AFC ensured that the venue was COVID-19 compliant and a safe environment for all those in attendance at the stadium.

“In addition, the FAW and UEFA had delegates at the match to ensure protocols were being followed.”

Regarding the post-match comments of Morrison, the statement added: “In response to the media comments made by the Connah’s Quay Nomads manager, Andy Morrison, the Football Association of Wales immediately requested the observations of the club.

“The FAW is satisfied that the comments contradict the confirmed compliance with the COVID-19 protocols; and whilst the club may decide to take internal actions, the FAW is currently investigating whether a breach of the guidelines has taken place and whether the comments constitute a breach of FAW Rules for bringing the association into disrepute.”

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