Sport Soccer

Friday 24 November 2017

Trapattoni fires contract warning shot

Giovanni Trapattoni: open to other offers while FAI hold off on new contract. Photo: Getty Images
Giovanni Trapattoni: open to other offers while FAI hold off on new contract. Photo: Getty Images
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI has warned the FAI that he is open to listening to offers from other interested parties while they hold off on awarding a new contract.

The Italian is very keen to extend his deal into a third campaign, but the association's board are waiting to see if Ireland make the Euro 2012 play-offs before deciding their next move.

A pair of wins against Andorra and Armenia next month would secure that target and Ireland would qualify automatically if they secured those six points and Russia lost in Slovakia.

While Trapattoni appears to accept that the FAI will delay making a decision until after the Armenian game, he suggested yesterday that other prospective employers are entitled to contact him once uncertainty remains.

The 72-year-old claimed that other nations have been in touch, revealing that he had been approached by one "war-torn" country. He refused to disclose the identity of the nation in question.

Libya appointed a new manager earlier this year, while Iraq hired Brazilian legend Zico a fortnight ago.

Trapattoni said he would let the FAI know before he contemplates sitting down with anyone else.

"People ring me," he said, "We have one or two opportunities. We have time to inform the federation.

"I have agents in Europe and I say, 'Wait, we speak in one month'. But I know the responsibility of the FAI."

Trapattoni says there were no formal discussions between himself and FAI chief executive John Delaney about the situation on the trip to Russia, where Ireland snatched an unlikely scoreless draw on Tuesday night. "I wish to leave him be," he said. "I want him to be serene."

Yet, he is clear about his desire to stay on. "Many of them (other countries) ring," he stressed. "Even places at war at the moment.

"It was important that we waited. After, it went boom, boom (to signify gun fire). We were very lucky.

"But thank God, in my life I have been lucky that I decide my future. Not the club or the federation.

"I think we deserve the opportunity to stay in charge. We are steadily growing and improving.

"If the FAI need to speak now, we can discuss it. But, in this moment, my attention is only for Armenia and Andorra."

Irish Independent

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