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Vera Pauw. Evan Treacy/INPHO
Decision time

Vera Pauw's future to be decided at FAI board meeting this evening

The FAI’s 11-person board will be presented with a review of the World Cup campaign, after which they will decide whether to renew Pauw’s deal.

VERA PAUW’S FUTURE as Republic of Ireland manager will be determined at an FAI board meeting scheduled for this evening. 

It is at that meeting that board members will be presented with the FAI’s internal review of the 2023 World Cup campaign, which was led by Director of Football Marc Canham.

The review is of the entire campaign, and so includes the qualifying campaign along with the tournament itself. 

The 11-person board will then decide whether to hand Pauw a new deal through to the Euro 2025 campaign, as her current contract expires this month. 

Though board members have yet to see the content of the FAI’s review, there is growing doubt as to whether Pauw will be granted a contract extension. 

Pauw and the FAI were in talks over a new deal ahead of the World Cup, but they were put on hold ahead of the tournament. Pauw was irked at the lack of clarity on her future during the tournament.

When asked ahead of Ireland’s final game whether it was unfair on her and the players that her future had not yet been determined, Pauw replied, “Yes.” 

Several of the Irish players were therefore placed in the awkward position of being asked about their manager’s future, and while some of them praised Pauw, none went as far as saying her contract should be renewed. 

Ireland then travelled home with Pauw and her captain Katie McCabe in open dispute. Pauw revealed after Ireland’s final game against Nigeria that McCabe requested that Sinead Farrelly be substituted to provide fresh legs around her.

Pauw rejected it, later saying, “If Katie McCabe says that she wants to change it doesn’t mean… she’s not the coach.” 

McCabe reacted by posting a zipped-mouth emoji on Twitter. 

There has been little public comment on Pauw from any of the players since returning home, although Louise Quinn appeared on RTÉ and said Ireland needed to “push on and figure out how we create more goals, apart from set pieces.”

Behind the scenes, it is understood that some players have expressed unhappiness with what they view as Pauw’s overly-defensive tactics, and were critical of preparations around set-piece routines. 

In making their call, the FAI board must balance this player sentiment against Pauw’s achievements in the role, given she made history in guiding Ireland to the women’s World Cup for the first time. 

Ireland’s Nations League campaign kicks off next month, with the side playing at the Aviva Stadium for the very first time against Northern Ireland on Saturday, 23 September. 

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With reporting by Emma Duffy 

Written by Gavin Cooney and posted on

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