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FAI sweat on UEFA's play-off call as manager dilemma looms

Fresh postponement of Slovakia clash could accelerate managerial decision

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UEFA will hold a conference call with their member nations to update them on Covid-19 crisis plans. Photo: PA

UEFA will hold a conference call with their member nations to update them on Covid-19 crisis plans. Photo: PA

PA

UEFA will hold a conference call with their member nations to update them on Covid-19 crisis plans. Photo: PA

FAI officials should find out today if they will have to decide whether Mick McCarthy or Stephen Kenny should manage Ireland for their Euro 2020 play-off.

UEFA will hold a conference call with their member nations to update them on Covid-19 crisis plans and there's a strong anticipation that June's European Championship deciders will be moved to make room for the end of the club season in the major leagues.

If the play-offs are re-fixed for after August 1, then the new FAI hierarchy will be served with a major dilemma as Kenny's contract says he takes over at that point.

Interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn had previously stated that the FAI would wait until June's games were over before deciding what to do in the event that Ireland got past Slovakia and either Bosnia or Northern Ireland. But they are now facing into a scenario where they would have to decide if they should push for contractual changes that allow McCarthy to stay in charge for those play-offs.

It's understood that Kenny is determined to take over when his contract kicks in, while McCarthy wants to stay on to see out the Euros mission in its entirety.

The FAI are conscious that UEFA aren't necessarily under pressure to stage the play-offs given that the finals have been rescheduled for next summer and that may complicate things.

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Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy (right) has departed the role, making way for Under-21s manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy (right) has departed the role, making way for Under-21s manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy (right) has departed the role, making way for Under-21s manager Stephen Kenny. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

A September date or even October would likely result in a push to work out a deal that gives McCarthy a crack but a new date beyond that would tip the balance towards a swift handover to Kenny. There are internal fears that the Kenny reign kicking off with games of that magnitude would be a risk for both parties from a longer-term perspective.

Both McCarthy and Kenny were informed yesterday that 50 per cent of their April wages will be deferred with a further review at the end of the month. All FAI staff earning more than €25,000 have accepted tiered cuts ranging from 10pc to 50pc depending on their salary.

Irish Independent


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