Vera Pauw has spoken for the first time since it was revealed she would not continue in her role as Republic of Ireland Women's National Team manager, heavily criticising the FAI for the process that resulted in that decision.
The Dutchwoman led the team to their first ever FIFA World Cup berth this summer, finishing bottom of a group consisting of Australia, Canada, and Nigeria.
While qualifying for that tournament was a massive achievement, they way the team performed once they got there underwhelmed many. As well as that, there seemed to be increasing friction between Pauw and her players, most notably captain Katie McCabe.
As a result, it was not a surprise when the news came that the FAI would not be offering her a new contract.
Vera Pauw criticises FAI over Ireland dismissal
In a statement released this evening, Vera Pauw has criticised the FAI for the process they used to arrive at their decision, suggesting that she had a breakdown in trust some within the Association.
— Balls.ie (@ballsdotie) August 31, 2023
I said before the World Cup that I was extremely happy in Ireland and that it was my desire to continue in my role. I entered into discussions with the FAI to extend my contract back in early March and was confident that this process could be concluded quickly. At that time I asked Ciarán Medlar to assist me and the process duly began.
The FAI also expressed their commitment to this outcome and worked with my representative to bring this to a conclusion. I requested that their decision, whatever that may be, would be finalised at the very latest before we went to Australia.
Despite committing to issuing an offer to me, the FAI re-considered their stated position and I never received the promised offer. I parked the contract discussions while we were in Australia, as my sole focus was the team and the competition.
Following the article which appeared in The Athletic at the start of July, which included allegations I absolutely refute, I believe the FAI made some major mistakes by directly overruling the tasks of the coach.
My position became very challenging when executives in the FAI, not technical football coaches, effectively took my seat and spoke to staff members and players regarding their roles in the team before and after the World Cup.
My advice - coming from my knowledge and experience - was often disregarded and not respected. In my opinion, no head coach in the world would accept interference of the executives in technical football affairs. Unfortunately, trust broke down between me and certain people in the FAI.
I believe that the review process which the Association has carried out was flawed and that the outcome was pre-determined.
Indeed, some discussions were held with players and staff before and during the World Cup which undermined my position and had an impact on our teambuilding process. That is perhaps for another day.
Vera Pauw had been in charge of Ireland since 2019, with her dismissal earlier this week ending a four year stint with the side.
The way in which her tenure ended has been criticised in some quarters, with many calling for transparency from the FAI on how they arrived at this decision. It has been suggested that the players had a sizeable input into the matter, although this was only part of the process that ultimately resulted in Pauw not receiving the offer of a new contract.
Eileen Gleeson has been placed in charge of the side on an interim basis, starting with next month's UEFA Nations League fixtures against Northern Ireland and Hungary.
You would expect that the FAI will address the comments above in due course.