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No Euros guarantee for McCarthy as current boss and Kenny both keen to lead Ireland to 2021 championship


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Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy and Stephen Kenny. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Mick McCarthy is set to enter June's rescheduled Euros play-offs without a guarantee he will get to manage Ireland at the finals if they qualify.

The logic of John Delaney's controversial succession plan which sees Stephen Kenny replace McCarthy on August 1 is under fresh spotlight with the tournament pushed back to 2021 and the play-offs fixed for this summer.

Interim deputy CEO Niall Quinn has admitted the FAI face a "problem" if Ireland come through but claims the matter will be parked until the team know their fate.

Kenny has made it clear he wants his contract to be honoured, and without the Euro 2020 delay due to Covid-19 he had expected to be in charge of the senior side in September for the Nations League.

But sources close to the squad insist McCarthy will fight for the right to take the team to the finals if the Republic overcome Slovakia and then Bosnia or Northern Ireland.

"There is no way Mick will just walk away if he has qualified," a source said.

Pushing the four play-offs from March to June has also posed a managerial problem for the IFA as Michael O'Neill is contracted to Stoke City as well as the IFA, and both parties hoped his future would be cleared up this month with their Euros destiny resolved.

The Denmark FA already stated that current manager Age Hareide will not take charge for the Euros in 2021 as he planned to retire this July.

Quinn, who says he's hopeful that Covid-19 conditions will allow the play-off to go ahead in June, admits the FAI have parked the succession issue.

"It's very early to talk on the basis that we still have these games which affect everything and the time to talk is June 10," Quinn told FAITV.

"I can't see why you would bring the problem ahead of that date when you've got these important games we've got to get through, so June 10, I'll visit that."

Irish Independent