No white smoke yet for Stephen Kenny as FAI discuss World Cup qualification campaign in meeting

The FAI confirmed that board members ‘undertook positive and detailed discussions’ this evening, but revealed little else in a brief statement.

Matt Doherty and Stephen Kenny after Ireland's draw with Portugal.
Matt Doherty and Stephen Kenny after Ireland's draw with Portugal.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

THE FAI HELD its monthly meeting tonight at which the main item on the agenda was the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign and, by association, manager Stephen Kenny’s contract.

However, in a statement released just after 10pm, the association provided virtually no new information on Kenny’s future or that of his staff, instead merely stating that the meeting had occurred and that the senior men’s management team will receive feedback from said meeting.

The brief release confirmed that FAI board members “undertook positive and detailed discussions” in relation to the qualification campaign “in its entirety”, but stressed that the matter of Kenny’s future — and the process involved in either renewing his contract or deciding against doing so — would remain an internal one.

“The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that Board members undertook positive and detailed discussions around a review of the Fifa World Cup 2022 qualification tournament in its entirety at its scheduled monthly meeting in Dublin this evening,” the statement read.

“CEO Jonathan Hill will now provide feedback to the Republic of Ireland men’s senior team management accordingly and will move the process forward. As with all employee matters, this process will remain confidential.

“The FAI will be making no further comment on this matter until it is appropriate.”

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Kenny is widely expected to be retained after a solid finish to Ireland’s World Cup qualification campaign and an upturn in form during which his side have won three and drawn one of their last four games, scoring 10 goals and conceding none.

However, the Irish football public will be waiting a while longer for white smoke.

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