Niall Quinn says news of a potential case of coronavirus in the League of Ireland hasn't come as a "total shock" for the FAI but admits that it is a "blow" to the restart plans.
The SSE Airtricity League only got back up and running on Friday following the enforced stoppage of most major sports activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic in March.
This morning, the association announced the postponement of tomorrow's match between Sligo Rovers and Waterford after one of the latter’s squad displayed symptoms consistent with coronavirus.
The player is currently awaiting test results and all activities at Waterford FC have been suspended.
"It’s tough to hear that and I hope everything is okay with the potential case," said Quinn, the interim deputy chief executive of the FAI, quoted in the Irish Daily Mirror.
"It’s a blow to hear it, but it’s not something that wasn’t going to be new to us, or a total shock to us. We had to be ready for stuff like that.
"I wouldn’t say we expected a case or two, but we wanted to make sure we knew how to deal with it when it arises.
"And I would be confident that Dr Alan Byrne and the national team he sits in will guide us the right way."
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The former Republic of Ireland forward added: "It raises questions and we have to apply best practice and work out what is best, take medical advice on the safety of our players and staff going forward.
"There are always measures and protocols to be taken into account should that happen. We don’t want this news, but it has to be dealt with.
"Hopefully after the weekend that we’ve had, things can work out where we can manage to control it and continue to play football.
"There have been cases of it around Europe with football clubs. We just have to be as vigilant and attentive to it as we possibly can."
Waterford played Shelbourne in Dublin on Saturday and the player did not feature in the game but was part of the squad, the club said.