Bale relieved over absence of COVID cases after Doherty embrace

By Sports Desk November 17, 2020

Wales captain Gareth Bale was concerned he could have contracted coronavirus after discovering two Republic of Ireland players tested positive following their clash on Sunday.

Bale's Tottenham team-mate Matt Doherty and Stoke winger James McClean returned positive COVID-19 tests after a 1-0 Nations League win for Wales at Cardiff City Stadium.

Doherty, who will now miss Spurs’ huge Premier League game at home to Manchester City on Saturday, had an embrace with Bale after the full-time whistle, while the pair reportedly swapped shirts when they talked after leaving the pitch.

No Wales players have tested positive ahead of their match against Finland on Wednesday, but Bale admitted he was worried the virus may have been passed on ahead of a key period of games.

Asked about his contact with Doherty, on-loan Spurs forward Bale said: "It's a slight concern for everyone when you have been playing someone [who has tested positive] and in close contact on the field, but maybe not long enough to catch it.

"Obviously you’re a bit wary, but it is good news that everyone has come back and tested negative and now we can concentrate on the game.

"Me and Ben Davies [Wales and Spurs defender] spoke to him [Doherty] briefly and I think he is doing fine, he’s got mild symptoms.

"Hopefully he recovers fine, doesn't have any problems and will be back playing as soon as possible."

Bale says the Football Association of Wales deserves great credit for the protocols it has put in place.

He said: "There's only three or four to a table, making sure we are socially distanced, going at different times to get food, wearing gloves to serve our food, no sharing rooms anymore.

"They have gone to great measures to make sure we are safe. It is important to take it seriously."

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