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Trapattoni set to pay the penalty for Aviva horror

GIOVANNI Trapattoni's future was hanging by a thread today as the FAI refused to back him, offering a "no comment" on the situation.

Trap also faced a players’ revolt after Stephen Kelly came close to walking out following a blazing row.

Writing in the Herald today, former international Ronnie Whelan became the latest to call for Trap to go.

"Trapattoni knows the score. The tide has turned against him and there is no way back," he said.

The Italian has been under intense pressure since the 6-1 humiliation by Germany at the Aviva Stadium.

Sources say the only reason that Trap is still in position is the €2m needed to sack him and his assistants. But if his side put in a limp showing against the world's 158th-ranked team tomorrow the clamour for him to go will be deafening.

It comes as Trapattoni faced a player revolt ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier.

Defender Stephen Kelly had to be persuaded to board the plane to the Faroe Islands, it was reported today.

Kelly, who was not used in the Germany match, rowed with Trapattoni's assistant Marco Tardelli after the final training session in Malahide yesterday morning.

The Fulham full-back threatened not to board the flight and Trapattoni as well as senior FAI figures had to intervene to persuade the Dubliner to get on the flight.

It was the latest blow to Trap (73), who has been accused of falling out with several members of the squad.

Pressure on the manager has been mounting since Ireland's disastrous results at the Euros in Poland.


Following Friday's embarrassing result, winger Aiden McGeady admitted there was something wrong within the team. Former internationals Kevin Kilbane and Kenny Cunningham have called on Trap to step down.

Whelan wrote today: "I said it on Friday night that I had never seen an Irish team play with so little fight, and that has to be a massive worry.

"It was the worst performance from an Ireland team in many, many years and maybe even the worst ever -- certainly against one of the top nations.

"The roots of this are clear. It was obvious from the moment Trapattoni chose to have a go at his players following the game against Spain in Poland that he had crossed a line and could not go back."

The manager, who earns €1.2m a year, said he has not spoken to FAI chief executive John Delaney since Friday's defeat.

Mr Delaney could not be contacted for a comment this morning.


He has ruled out voluntarily stepping down, adding: "No, I have not spoken to them. We have no problem and I just focus on what I do."

Trap added: "The federation knows our job, they know what we are doing ... The Irish people are fantastic and when myself and Marco Tardelli go on the street they say 'well done'."