Damien Duff had reportedly been considering stepping down from his coaching role with the Republic of Ireland for a couple of months.
On Friday night, the Football Association of Ireland confirmed that Damien Duff would no longer be working under Stephen Kenny for the Irish national team.
The statement was as brief as it was unclear because no reason was given for Duff’s sudden departure.
“I want to thank Stephen Kenny for the opportunity he gave me to coach with the senior Ireland team and I wish Stephen, Keith and the players all the very best of luck for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers,” Duff said.
According to a report in the Irish Examiner, the ultimate factor in Duff’s decision was the manner in which the so-called ‘videogate’ scandal played out after the Ireland team was shown a motivational pre-match video ahead of November’s friendly with England.
When news of the video emerged in the press, the FAI immediately launched an investigation and spoke to Kenny and a couple of senior players, as well members of the backroom staff.
The Examiner report states that Duff was willing to walk away from his Ireland role after a tense meeting with now-former FAI interim CEO Gary Owens on the matter.
Duff made it abundantly clear of his stance that there was nothing wrong with the video and warned that he would not be willing to stand over any FAI apology regarding the subject.
Duff had consulted with Kenny about his frustration on how the furore played out, with the Ireland manager hopeful of convincing the 41-year-old to stay on board.
But Duff was determined to remove himself from FAI employment and the fact that the news of his departure came out so late on Friday night is said to have irked the former Blackburn and Chelsea winger even more.
While the FAI investigation was closed and no further action was taken against Kenny, Duff grew so disillusioned by the entire process that he decided to walk away from the national team.
Duff was regarded highly among players in the Ireland team and he will take some replacing as the Boys in Green prepare for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Serbia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Azerbaijan.