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Saturday 23 August 2014

Bill's to bow out after Cup run of 49 years

Kirsty Blake Knox

Published 06/06/2014 | 02:30

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They think it's all over – it is now (nearly) for veteran broadcaster Bill O'Herlihy.

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The RTE frontman is to bow out following the World Cup in Brazil after more than 49 years at the station.

He said it will be a "special" tournament before his retirement this summer.

"I have been through a fair few World Cups and they all have been extremely enjoyable," he said.

"But this one will be extra special. I will enjoy every minute of it because I know it will be my last one."

The modest host was keen to credit his on-air compadres, Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady and John Giles, for his success during the years.

"Eamon transformed the whole area of punditry in sport, John is the most forensic and Liam has an incredible sense of humour.

"They have been very important in developing my career because I have piggy-backed on their talent," he said, speaking at the launch of RTE Sport's 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage.

It will broadcast live coverage of all 64 games over the course of the competition and has introduced new panellists Real Madrid assistant coach Paul Clement, veteran American goalkeeper Brad Friedel and former Celtic manager Neil Lennon.

But panel pundit Eamon Dunphy believes that allegations surrounding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar will overshadow this year's tournament.

He claimed that FIFA's reputation lies in shreds following the wave of corruption claims. Dunphy said football had been "tainted by the revelations".

"It's tainted the sport and painted a poor picture of football – it's grubby and ugly now," he told the Irish Independent.

"I think the revelations will overshadow the sport and the World Cup in particular.

"All this has damaged FIFA very badly. Its image is in shreds now."

Dunphy also spoke of some of the protests being held in Brazil regarding the 2014 Cup.

"People aren't happy, people have been displaced from their homes in favelas so car parks can be built," he said.

But he hoped the "quality of football and the quality of players" would counter some bad feelings.

Irish Independent

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