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Azerbaijan forward Mahir Emreli tests positive for Covid days after Ireland clash

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Republic of Ireland's Chiedozie Ogbene takes on Azerbaijan's Mahir Emreli during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match at the Olympic Stadium in Baku. Photo: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland's Chiedozie Ogbene takes on Azerbaijan's Mahir Emreli during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match at the Olympic Stadium in Baku. Photo: Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland's Chiedozie Ogbene takes on Azerbaijan's Mahir Emreli during the FIFA World Cup 2022 qualifying group A match at the Olympic Stadium in Baku. Photo: Sportsfile

Azerbaijan forward Mahir Emreli has tested positive for Covid-19 just days after facing the Republic of Ireland in Baku.

The Azerbaijan football federation confirmed today that the Legia Warsaw player had tested positive in a series of pre-match tests ahead of their qualifier away to Serbia in Belgrade tonight, and he has now been forced into isolation.

Due to the time between his appearance against Ireland in Baku and his positive test, it's unlikely there will be complications for the Republic's players as they prepare to take on Qatar in Dublin tonight in a friendly, which is now a 25,000 sell-out.

Bottom of the group, Azerbaijan were already planning to make changes for the Belgrade test before Emreli's positive Covid test.

"In life and football, nothing can be solved in one day. This takes a certain amount of time. We must believe that we are on the right path and follow it. We have a young team. Good results can be expected from these players in the future," Azerbaijan's Italian coach Gianni di Biasi said.

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