Friday 23 February 2018

Axe hovers over defiant Trap

Italian looks doomed as FAI bemoan limp end to Rio dream

10 September 2013; Republic of Ireland's Shane Long and John O'Shea react in the dug out after Austria's David Alaba scored his side's first goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
10 September 2013; Republic of Ireland's Shane Long and John O'Shea react in the dug out after Austria's David Alaba scored his side's first goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Austria's Martin Harnik (L) and David Alaba react after scoring a goal during their World Cup qualifying soccer match against Ireland in Vienna
10 September 2013; Jonathan Walters, Republic of Ireland, is tackled by Aleksandar Dragovic, Austria. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
10 September 2013; Republic of Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni reacts to a decision during the second half. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
10 September 2013; Seamus Coleman, Republic of Ireland, in action against Guido Burgstaller, Austria. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
10 September 2013; Austria's David Alaba, 8, scores his side's first goal. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Austria's David Alaba (R) and coach Marcel Koller react after scoring a goal during their World Cup qualifying soccer match against Ireland in Vienna September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER)
10 September 2013; Richard Dunne, Republic of Ireland, receives a yellow card from referee Olegário Benquerença. 2014 FIFA World Cup Qualifier, Group C, Austria v Republic of Ireland, Ernst Happel Stadion, Vienna, Austria. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
England's Frank Lampard acknowledges the crowd after the final whistle during tonight's 0-0 draw
Austria's David Alaba (R) and coach Marcel Koller react after scoring a goal during their World Cup qualifying soccer match against Ireland in Vienna September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA - Tags: SPORT SOCCER TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 10: James McCarthy of Ireland (R) challenges Christoph Leitgeb of Austria during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group C qualification match between Austria and the Republic of Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Richard Dunne (C) and Paul Green of Ireland challenge Andreas Weimann of Austria during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group C qualification match between Austria and the Republic of Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 10: Ciaran Clark of Ireland (R) challenges David Alaba of Austria during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group C qualification match between Austria and the Republic of Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 10: David Alaba of Austria celebrates after winning the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group C qualification match between Austria and the Republic of Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
VIENNA, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 10: James McCarthy of Ireland (L) challenges Martin Harnik of Austria during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group C qualification match between Austria and the Republic of Ireland at the Ernst Happel Stadium on September 10, 2013 in Vienna, Austria. (Photo by Christian Hofer/Getty Images)
Robbie Keane and Richard Dunne show their disappointment after Ireland's defeat to Austria in the World Cup qualifier at the Ernst Happel Stadium

Daniel McDonnell in vienna

THE FAI board of management will meet to discuss the future of Giovanni Trapattoni after defeat in Austria ended Ireland's World Cup ambitions, but the Italian has no intention of walking away.

His scheduled press conference in Dublin this afternoon has been cancelled, with the FAI releasing a statement late last night saying that a return of no points from the double header with Sweden and Austria is "very disappointing for everyone involved in Irish football."

It continued: "Our aim of qualification... is now highly unlikely even though the team will always do everything within their power to keep that hope alive. The FAI Board of Management will now consider the current position over the coming period to discuss the recent results."

Earlier, Trapattoni said the decision was out of his hands after David Alaba's winner in Vienna condemned Ireland to a first away loss in a qualifier under the Italian, with dreadful home form ultimately his undoing in this campaign.

He stressed the FAI would have to pay him to go as his contract does not expire until next summer. "I don't want to leave but maybe they are ready for another manager," he said. "It is not my decision and it depends what the federation decide. We have an agreement until May 30 or June 1, if they decide to go (sack him), no problem."

Martin O'Neill is the favourite to replace Trapattoni, although it's understood there has been no contact from the FAI and it is therefore still unclear if the 61-year-old would be interested.

The association hierarchy have to weigh up whether to make a change before the concluding double header with Germany and Kazakhstan.

Ireland captain Robbie Keane refused to get sucked into discussion on Trapattoni's future, stating that it wasn't his decision. Senior players did lobby the FAI to retain the Italian when he was on the ropes around last October's qualifier in the Faroes, but there seems to be an inevitability about what comes next.

"Whatever does happen, nobody should forget what he has done for this country, regardless of whether he stays or goes. Whatever decision is made, we have to respect that," said Keane.

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