The FAI have confirmed that Stephen Kenny will take up the role as manager of the Republic of Ireland senior side with immediate effect.
It was originally planned that Kenny would take charge after Ireland’s Euro 2020 campaign but the global Covid-19 pandemic has seen the competition rescheduled for next year while Ireland’s qualifier with Slovakia has also been postponed.
This put the FAI’s managerial succession plan into some difficulty but the game’s governing body has confirmed that Kenny will now take up the role.
You can read the FAI’s full statement below:
“The Football Association of Ireland announces that Mick McCarthy is to be succeeded as national team manager by Stephen Kenny with immediate effect,” an FAI statement read.
“The handover has been agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Mick McCarthy’s contract was due to expire on July 31st after the UEFA EURO 2020 finals, with Stephen initially scheduled to step up from his Under-21 team role on August 1st. This move allows Stephen Kenny time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year.
“Interim FAI CEO Gary Owens said: “This has been a difficult situation for the Association – and for Mick and Stephen in particular – in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the football calendar.
“On behalf of President Gerry McAnaney, the Board of the FAI and myself, I want to thank both men for their professionalism and their understanding in their dealings with the Association in these unprecedented circumstances. These are exceptional times in Irish life and Mick has taken that into account in agreeing to vacate the post early.
“On behalf of the FAI, I wish to express our gratitude to Mick for his service and commitment to our national team throughout his career and particularly in his second spell as Ireland manager. We wish Mick and his staff well and we thank them all for their hard work in this European Championship campaign to date.
“Stephen will now begin his planning for the play-off against Slovakia and everyone at the FAI wishes him well in our bid to qualify for Euro 2020. Football will be back and we have so much to look forward to now in the autumn with the Nations League and the UEFA EURO 2020 play-off, followed by the World Cup qualifiers in early 2021.”
The FAI have yet to provide clarity on Kenny’s backroom staff and whether Robbie Keane will be included as the former striker held a role in McCarthy’s setup.
Neil O’Riordan of the Irish Sun is reporting that Damien Duff could be involved in Kenny’s new-look backroom team.
Stetament coming shortly confirming @offtheball story that Mick McCarthy's reign as Ireland manager is over. I have not had it confirmed but there is a strong suggestion that Damien Duff will be involved in Stephen Kenny's backroom staff with Jim Crawford promoted to u21 boss.
— Neil O'Riordan (@noriordan) April 4, 2020