When the news broke last night that Damien Duff had stepped away from his coaching role with the Republic of Ireland, it came as a major shock.
Not only had Stephen Kenny hailed the role that the former Chelsea player had in his backroom team, but Duff himself had also been vocal in his admiration for the new Ireland manager. While results have been disappointing early in their tenure, it was assumed there would be no changes to the coaching structure ahead of the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.
The FAI tweeted a short statement last night to confirm his departure, but there was no explanation as to why Duff had made that decision.
Damien Duff has informed the Football Association of Ireland that he is stepping down from his role as coach to Stephen Kenny’s Republic of Ireland team
Read more ➡️ https://t.co/AIwa4Pvy9f #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/H0BailKbv9
— FAIreland ⚽️🇮🇪 (@FAIreland) January 8, 2021
This led to rife speculation as to the reason for his resignation. We may not have a clearer idea as to what went on.
The Irish Examiner are reporting has revealed that the controversy surrounding a motivational video shown to the Ireland squad before the friendly against England played a major part in Duff's decision to move on.
In fact, the report states that Duff had offered to resign from his post as early as last November in light of the FAI's investigation into the video. This came during a tense meeting with FAI interim CEO Gary Owens during this process.
It is understood that he was extremely unhappy with how the Association had dealt with the situation, which included a leak from within the camp to an English newspaper, who went on to describe the video as 'anti-English'.
The Irish Examiner believe that Duff's decision to step away from the team came down to the fact that he no longer wanted to work under the FAI, with his relationship with Stephen Kenny remaining intact.
Stephen Kenny is now likely to recruit a new member to his backroom team before the World Cup qualifiers get underway in March.