Ireland WNT manager Vera Pauw. Ryan Byrne/INPHO
the vera era

Pauw: 'It is great to have clarity on the Euros. However, football has not been the priority for us'

The Ireland boss welcomes confirmation that Euro 2021 has been moved to 2022.

IRELAND BOSS VERA Pauw has welcomed confirmation that the Uefa Women’s European Championships have been rescheduled for 2022, and remain in England.

After a period of uncertainty, it was announced today that Euro 2021 will now take place from 6 to 31 July 2022 — but Pauw insists there are more important issues at hand right now.

While Ireland remain unbeaten in their qualification campaign and sit top of Group I as they look to reach a first-ever major tournament, the return to international football has not been to the forefront of the Dutchwoman’s mind.

“It is great to have clarity on when the Uefa Women’s European Championships will be played so that we can plan accordingly,” Pauw told the FAI today.

However, football has not been the priority for us of late with the world still battling against the coronavirus and our thoughts are with those we have lost, those who are fighting, and those who are aiding the fight.

“The reaction from so many people, around the world, to abide by Government and health regulations has been inspiring. So too has been the positive vibes from people posting video messages, taking part in various activities like the FAI HomeSkills drills, and doing what they can to help others. It is important that we all stay strong and stay safe during this period.

Screenshot 2020-04-23 at 15.31.22 Uefa. Uefa.

“As we look at the schedule ahead of us, there are still three group games to play and we remain in a good position to qualify for the European Championships. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us and it is fantastic that each of our players, who we remain in regular contact with, are working hard on individual fitness programs.

We understand and accept Uefa’s decision to move the European Championships to July 2022. So now our focus will be on planning ahead for our remaining qualifying games, arranging some friendly games, and then looking at the Fifa World Cup qualifiers once that schedule is set.

“To all of our supporters around the world,” she added, “we look forward to playing our next game and representing Ireland as best as we can, but, right now, we urge you to stay at home, get some exercise every day, and do what you can to help others during this period.”

The Girls In Green finished up with a 3-0 away win over Montengro before the worldwide football shutdown amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and have yet to play away games against group favourites Germany and Ukraine, and the return leg against the Germans in Tallaght.

julie-ann-russell-and-vera-pauw Julie Ann Russell with Pauw in training in early March. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

With Women’s European qualifiers and international friendlies from now until June postponed, it looks like those games will now be played in October and November — dependant on the worldwide situation with Covid-19. 

The nine group winners and the three best runners-up [not counting results against the sixth-placed team] qualify directly for the final tournament in 2022, while the remaining six runners-up advance to the play-offs, which could be held next April.

The42 understands Pauw will remain at the helm throughout.

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