Stephen Kenny breaks silence on motivational video shown before England game

Stephen Kenny has spoken publicly for the first time about the pre-match video that was shown to his Republic of Ireland squad ahead of last month’s friendly with England.

Much was made of ‘videogate’ in the media, with Stephen Kenny called before the Football Association of Ireland to explain the reasons for showing the video which was reported to have featured historical references to Anglo-Irish relations.

Having heard from Kenny and a number of senior players and backroom team members, the FAI was satisfied to bring an end to the investigation.

Kenny broke his silence on the incident after Monday’s draw for the World Cup qualifiers; which saw Ireland drawn against Portugal, Serbia, Luxembourg and Azerbaijan.

“The video was a non-story,” Kenny said.

“It was a football video with goals scored by the players in training and goals scored at Wembley the night before, and some goals from previous Ireland matches against England with some historical references, and that was it.

“I don’t think the leaks were intentional from inside the dressing room and I think there may be people behind the scenes or elsewhere who want to cause problems for the team or don’t have the best interests of the team.

“But certainly, I have no problem with anyone in the dressing room. That’s not an issue for me.”

While several Irish players hit out at the leak from the dressing room, Kenny intends to move forward now and not focus on who leaked the information about the video.

The Ireland boss, who is still waiting for his first win since taking over from Mick McCarthy, did make a point of dismissing any suggestion that the leak came from goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly.

Kelly chose to sit out the Uefa Nations league game against Bulgaria as he is asthmatic and was concerned about the number of Covid-19 cases emerging from the Ireland camp.

But the goalkeeping coach slammed those wondering if he had complained about the video and Kenny was certain it didn’t come from Kelly, who will return to his national team duties in March.

Kenny insisted: “He definitely did not [complain]. I’m not discussing any member of staff in the press conference, but that’s doing a disservice to Alan.

“It was a distraction, we could all have done without it and now we’re focused on the World Cup qualifiers, there are some great games and that’s what we’re looking forward to.”

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