Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny is fighting for his job after investigation is launched into claims he showed his players ‘anti-English’ video before their 3-0 Wembley defeat
- Sources told Sportsmail members of the Irish squad were stunned by the video
- Others have described the video as more ‘pro Ireland’ than ‘anti-English’
- England ended up defeating the Republic of Ireland 3-0 on November 12
The Republic of Ireland Football Association have opened an investigation into claims manager Stephen Kenny showed his players an ‘anti-English’ video ahead of the clash against Gareth Southgate’s men.
Numerous sources have told Sportsmail that members of the Irish squad were left shocked after they were shown a video depicting the history of Anglo-Irish relations before last Thursday’s friendly at Wembley in what is said to have been an attempt to motivate his squad ahead of the game.
The FAI’s investigation leaves Kenny, who was only appointed as head coach in April, fighting for his job.
Republic of Ireland boss Stephen Kenny reportedly showed players an ‘anti-England’ video before his team played Gareth Southgate’s men at Wembley on November 12
Republic of Ireland lost the match against England 3-0 and some members of the squad felt that Kenny’s attempts to motivate the squad ended up overstepping the mark
Previous Ireland managers have used the fractious historic relationship between the two countries to varying degrees in attempts to inspire players ahead of matches against England.
But last week’s ploy certainly took some by surprise and appears to have overstepped the mark of political correctness – particularly given a number of players also have English roots – in the eyes of certain individuals.
One source described the video as ‘close to the line’. Others, however, have described the video as more aligned with ‘pro Ireland’ beliefs than ‘anti-English’ sentiment and merely an attempt to reinforce the team’s heritage.
Kenny’s men went on to lose the game 3-0.
The video is said to have been shown to players during a team meeting before the game.
Some players and staff are understood to have privately complained about the video, which is said to have portrayed key moments in the history of English and Irish relations – including reference to the Easter Rising in 1916. One source described the video as ‘propaganda’.
In a statement released to Sportsmail, a spokesman for the FAI said: ‘The Football Association of Ireland is aware of issues surrounding content shared with our senior men’s team ahead of the recent friendly against England at Wembley Stadium.
Kenny saw his side go down 3-0 amid a tricky start to his career as manager of the Republic
Kenny has not won a single one of the eight matches that he has overseen as Ireland boss
‘The FAI is already looking into this matter internally as a matter of urgency to establish the facts. The FAI has no further comment to make at this time.’
It remains to be seen if the incident has any long-term repercussions for Kenny with regards to his job as Irish boss.
But it could certainly alienate members of his squad, who already appear to be struggling under his tutelage.
Kenny hasn’t won a single one of his eight games in charge since being appointed senior boss.