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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 26 November 2020
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Kenny holds 'positive' meeting with FAI chief Owens amid video fallout

There is no suggestion Kenny’s job is under threat.

Stephen Kenny.
Stephen Kenny.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

STEPHEN KENNY IS understood to have held a positive meeting with outgoing FAI CEO Gary Owens this afternoon amid the fallout to a motivational video and team talk delivered in the dressing room prior to last week’s friendly against England at Wembley. 

Kenny met Owens this afternoon to discuss the matter, and The42 understands it was a positive meeting from the Irish manager’s point of view as Owens did not raise any significant issues 

There is no suggestion Kenny’s job is under threat. 

Kenny is due to meet with the new permanent CEO Jonathan Hill, chairman Roy Barrett and other members of the board of management later this evening. 

Owens is still serving as interim CEO at the FAI during a handover month with permanent CEO Jonathan Hill. Owens is working out of Abbottstown with Hill still working remotely from London, and Owens is understood to be overseeing much of the day-to-day running of the Association as Hill acquaints himself with the bigger picture at the FAI. 

The Daily Mail reported last night members of the Irish squad took issue with the political nature of a motivational video shown to players before kick-off at Wembley last week, with the newspaper describing it as “anti-British.”

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In a statement, the FAI said they were “aware of issues surrounding content” shown to the team prior to kick-off, and said they would investigate the issue as “a matter of urgency” to “establish the facts.” 

The42 understands the video was roughly three minutes depicting scenes from Anglo-Irish history, including the Easter Rising, prefacing a montage of previous Irish goals scored against England. 

One well-placed source within the camp told The42 the reaction to the video was “blown out of all proportion.”

Another Abbottstown source – not among the Irish travelling party last week – said the bigger issue was with the political nature of Kenny’s team-talk, and that senior, Irish-born players raised the issue with senior FAI staff. 

Separate sources who were among the FAI staff at Wembley and in the senior camp for the duration of the window say they were unaware of any players voicing their concern with either the video or the team talk during camp. 

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Gavin Cooney

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