Thursday 29 September 2016

Have the FAI used up their only media-free day at Euro 2016 before a ball has been kicked?

Published 10/06/2016 | 11:10

Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill speaks with the media after a training session at the Stade de Montbauron, Versailles yesterday
Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill speaks with the media after a training session at the Stade de Montbauron, Versailles yesterday

The Republic of Ireland squad will be back to work tomorrow after the players and staff were given an unexpected rest day today.

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But the Association now have to redraft their schedule for the rest of the tournament due to the cancellation of today's planned training session, and media access to the team.

"The squad will be given a day off to recover and will resume full training on Saturday, June 11 in preparation for the UEFA EURO 2016 opener against Sweden on Monday, June 13," said an FAI statement issued on Thursday night.

Teams competing at Euro 2016 have to complete some standard media duties, with UEFA insisting on the presence of the manager and at least one "but preferably two" players at a press conference on the eve of each game.

The teams are also allowed have one day free of all media duties in the tournament. The FAI had planned this for the day after their meeting with Belgium in Bordeaux, but today FAI officials were checking with tournament organisers to see if they can still have a media-free day that day or if they have now used up the allocation and will have to make the manager and players available to the media on Sunday week.

Training resumes for the squad tomorrow morning at their Versailles base and they will train in the match stadium in St Denis on Sunday evening.

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