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end of a vera

Vera Pauw's Ireland reign ends as FAI decide against new contract

Pauw led Ireland to their first-ever Fifa Women’s World Cup this summer.

VERA PAUW’S FOUR years as manager of the Republic of Ireland Women’s National Team came to an end on Tuesday night as the FAI board decided not to offer her a new contract.

The Dutch coach, who was appointed in September 2019, led Ireland’s women to their first-ever major tournament at the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup this summer.

In a near six-hour meeting on Tuesday, the FAI board considered an internal review into the qualification campaign for the 2023 World Cup as well as the tournament itself, which saw Ireland exit at the group stages.

Pauw’s contract runs out at the end of this month, leaving Ireland on the hunt for a successor with less than four weeks before the team’s next competitive game — a historic first appearance at the Aviva Stadium when they host Northern Ireland in the Uefa Nations League on 23 September.

“At the meeting of the FAI Board, the Board has decided that Ireland Women’s National Team Manager Vera Pauw will not be offered a new contract after the expiry of her current contract at the end of this month,” a statement on Tuesday night read.

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill commented: “On behalf of the Football Association of Ireland, we would like to thank Vera for her hard work and commitment over the past four years and wish her well for the future.

“In particular, I wish to acknowledge the role she played in leading Ireland to the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023 where our women’s team made history and inspired a nation.

“The future is bright for women and girls’ football and our focus now is building upon the work done by Vera and the historic achievements of our women’s team, which we see as a platform to support the next phase of the journey for the team, and more broadly the development of women and girls’ football in this country.”

Pauw — who previously managed Scotland, Russia and South Africa as well as her native Netherlands — succeeded Colin Bell as Ireland manager on an initial two-year term in late 2019.

Her first qualification campaign ended in disappointment as Ireland lost their penultimate qualifier in Ukraine, which ultimately cost them a place in the playoffs.

That campaign showed enough signs of progress to convince the FAI to offer Pauw a further two-year contract, and their faith was rewarded when she led the country to its debut World Cup, courtesy of a dramatic 1-0 play-off win in Scotland last October.

Ireland’s pre-tournament preparations were overshadowed when allegations were made against Pauw late last year in the course of an investigation into misconduct in America’s National Women’s Soccer League, and then again in a second report published by The Athletic in July, only days before Ireland’s departure for Australia. In both instances, Pauw unequivocally denies all allegations against her.

Defeats against hosts Australia and Canada saw Ireland eliminated from the World Cup after just two matches. A 0-0 draw with Nigeria in their final group game earned the country’s first World Cup point, but the aftermath was dominated by a public disagreement between Pauw and Ireland captain Katie McCabe over the manager’s tactics in the closing stages of the game.

Written by Niall Kelly and posted on

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