DUBLIN (AFP) – Stephen Kenny will replace Mick McCarthy as Republic of Ireland manager with immediate effect after the Euro 2020 play-offs were delayed again by the coronavirus pandemic, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) said late Saturday.
Kenny, who had been in charge of Ireland’s Under-21 side, was due to take over from McCarthy in August following the expiration of his contract after the Euro 2020 finals.
However, European football’s governing body announced last Wednesday that all international matches in June had been postponed until further notice.
“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,” Interim FAI Chief Executive Gary Owens said.
“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.”
Ireland were due to face Slovakia in the play-offs on March 26.
The match was then moved to June after the suspension of football across Europe before it was postponed indefinitely.