Stephen Kenny takes over from Mick McCarthy as Republic of Ireland manager as coronavirus pandemic forces plans to move forward

Mick McCarthy has been replaced as Republic of Ireland manager with immediate effect.

McCarthy was due to step down from his role at the end of July, following the end of Euro 2020, with Stephen Kenny lined up as his successor.

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Mick McCarthy started his second spell as Ireland boss in November 2018
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The Euros have been pushed back by 12 months to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic with Ireland still to qualify for the tournament.

The Republic are due to face Slovakia away in their qualifying play-offs, with the winner to face either Northern Ireland or Bosnia and Herzegovina.

However, the fixture has been postponed for a second time due to the pandemic.

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Stephen Kenny is the man due to replace Mick McCarthy
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Interim FAI chief executive 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.”

The match against Slovakia was originally due to take place on March 26, then shifted to the June international window due to the suspension of football across Europe.

UEFA announced earlier this week that no international football would go ahead in June, with no new dates announced.

Owens added: “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.”

Give COVID-19 the red card

The quicker we work together to stop coronavirus spreading, the sooner we can get back into the pubs, the gyms and stadiums and arenas to see live sport again…

STAY AT HOME. Only leave for the following purposes:

  • to shop for basic essentials – only when you really need to
  • to do one form of exercise a day – such as a run, walk or cycle, alone or with other people you live with
  • for any medical need – for example, to visit a pharmacy or deliver essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • to travel to and from work – but only where this is absolutely necessary

For more info and tips, visit the NHS website.

The government has also issued further detail on what we can do during lockdown.

Everyone should do what they can to stop coronavirus spreading.

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