Vera Pauw: Outgoing Republic boss says FAI made major mistakes and disrespected her at World Cup

Vera Pauw at Ireland training
Vera Pauw guided the Republic of Ireland to their first major tournament.

Outgoing Republic of Ireland boss Vera Pauw has accused the Football Association of Ireland of making "major mistakes" during the World Cup.

Pauw said the governing body reneged on offering her a new deal before the tournament and disrespected her in Australia when officials interfered in football matters.

She also said the FAI's review into the World Cup campaign was flawed.

It was announced this week that the FAI decided not to renew Pauw's contract.

"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," the Dutchwoman said in a statement issued on Thursday evening.

"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 never received the promised offer'

Dutchwoman Pauw, 60, had openly spoken about her desire to remain in charge and contract talks had started prior to the World Cup.

However, the emergence of an article in the Athletic, which saw Houston Dash players come forward about body shaming allegations, saw those talks go quiet and although Pauw launched a stern defence of her character and denied the allegations, the article overshadowed the Republic's World Cup send-off against France.

Several Irish players refused to publicly back her at the World Cup, and the build-up to their final group match with Nigeria was dominated by questions about her future.

"I said before the World Cup that I was extremely happy in Ireland and that it was my desire to continue in my role," continued Pauw in her lengthy statement, which also reflected on "four wonderful years" in the job and thanked the Republic fans for the welcome and support they gave her.

"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."

Review was 'flawed' and 'outcome pre-determined'

There were allegations of a falling out between Pauw and captain Katie McCabe at the World Cup
There were allegations of a falling out between Pauw and captain Katie McCabe at the World Cup

Pauw was appointed manager in 2019 and guided the Republic's women to their first major tournament in Australia.

Her side exited at the group stage of the World Cup last month after a draw with Nigeria and defeats by Australia and Canada, while there were also allegations of a falling out between the manager and Irish captain Katie McCabe.

With the manager's contract due to expire, the FAI last month launched a review into the World Cup campaign and this week announced that Pauw's tenure would not be extended.

"I believe that the review process which the Association has carried out was flawed and that the outcome was pre-determined," Pauw claimed.

"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.

"However, I do not leave with any regrets and my overriding emotions today are of happiness and pride to have played a part in the wonderful journey of this team over the last four years."

In thanking the Republic fans, Pauw said: "The Irish people have been so welcoming and supportive of me from the day I arrived here, and I have been very happy and always felt extremely safe in Ireland.

"I will never forget the warmth the Irish people have shown towards me and a part of me will always feel Irish from here on!"