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Mick McCarthy's time as Republic of Ireland manager comes to an end as Stephen Kenny takes over

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Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy

�INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Mick McCarthy

Mick McCarthy's time as Republic of Ireland manager is over after the FAI hierarchy decided to honour the terms of the succession plan that sees Stephen Kenny take charge on August 1.

A sub committee of the FAI board reached the decision which was communicated to other members earlier today.

Stephen Kenny will succeed McCarthy with "immediate effect", said an FAI statement this evening with the "handover agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic".

McCarthy's contract was due to expire on July 31 and the FAI top brass reached the conclusion that the appropriate course of action was to proceed with the arrangement as planned.

They were going to wait until after June's rescheduled Euro 2020 playoffs but moved quickly after the game with Slovakia was again called off due to the Covid-19 crisis.

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 Euro 2020 play-off, followed by the World Cup qualifiers in early 2021."

Belfast Telegraph