Axe hovers over defiant Trap
Italian looks doomed as FAI bemoan limp end to Rio dream
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.