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Sunday 20 October 2019

FAI turmoil has no effect on the senior players: McCarthy

NO EFFECT: Mick McCarthy (c) at the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s National finals at the Aviva Stadium with Republic of Ireland international Megan Campbell and former Irish International Keith Andrews. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
NO EFFECT: Mick McCarthy (c) at the SPAR FAI Primary School 5s National finals at the Aviva Stadium with Republic of Ireland international Megan Campbell and former Irish International Keith Andrews. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

The ongoing turmoil within the FAI will have no impact on the senior international squad as they prepare for the Euro 2020 double-header against Denmark and Gibraltar, Mick McCarthy claims.

Unhappiness among supporters over the FAI board and leadership did impact on the team, and the match, in the Republic's most recent game, as a tennis ball protest by fans held up the qualifier at home to Georgia and led to a UEFA fine.

As the senior squad play the U21 team in a training game behind closed doors at Abbotstown today, just yards away in FAI HQ, teams of officials are carrying out four separate probes into the FAI's affairs.

The brief for an internal audit of the FAI by KOSI was made public in the last 24 hours, as KOSI carry out "a comprehensive review of FAI grant-related expenditure".

In a warning of what will happen if the flow of information back to Sport Ireland is unsatisfactory, the brief warns: "Should the forensic analysis result in a matter of concern(s), Sport Ireland may wish to extend the forensic analysis."

The Kosi report will be carried out between July and September, so the first report to be presented out of recent events will be the FAI's own internal review of their governance procedures, a draft due on June 14.

McCarthy said last month that he noted the concern among FAI staff when he visited Abbotstown, but the senior team boss says the saga has no impact on the squad.

"The FAI staff will be aware of it because they are working every day. The players aren't FAI employees. They're not employees here," he said.

"They just come in and play football.

"I've never heard one of them talk to me about it, say 'Here, gaffer what do you think about that?' Honestly, it's just not a topic of conversation that we have. You're pretty much protected.

"For me, it seems to be settling down.

"UEFA, the FAI, have got Noel Mooney in, that's quite clearly the decision - to settle it down for the next six months and I guess that everybody hopes that's the case and we can move forward."

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