Coach Vera Pauw asks Ireland FA for clarity on her Republic of Ireland future

Vera Pauw has called on the Football Association of Ireland to reach a decision on her future as Republic of Ireland coach ahead of the team’s final World Cup match against Nigeria.

Pauw’s contract is up at the end of the tournament, with Ireland having already been eliminated following defeats to Australia and Canada in their first two games.

That means Monday’s final Group B fixture in Brisbane could be her last game in charge if a decision is made not to keep her on.

She has repeatedly stated that she hopes to continue in the role to try to lead them to the European Championship finals in Switzerland in 2015.

The 60-year-old, who was appointed in 2019 and has led the Republic to their first major tournament finals in Australia and New Zealand, has been the subject of allegations of misconduct dating back to her time managing Houston Dash in the National Women’s Soccer League.

“Yes,” she replied when asked whether the players deserved to know whether their coach would be staying. “My situation has not changed.

“I think we have a fantastic bond in our team. That has been shown all over the four years.”

Vera Pauw

Vera Pauw has led Ireland to a first World Cup but the team will fly home following the match against Nigeria (Isabel Infantes/PA)

Opponents Nigeria were conquerors of co-hosts Australia in their previous game and will advance to the last-16 if they avoid defeat against Pauw’s side.

Ireland need to win and hope that Australia lose to Canada if they are to have any hope of finishing their debut tournament off the bottom of the group.

“We have a fantastic game tomorrow to play,” she added. “Nigeria are ranked 52 (by FIFA) but we all agree now that they are so, so strong.

“They are physically strong, they are skilful and extremely fast so there is a huge task on our plate. I want to concentrate on the game.

“That game is crucial for us, for our feeling, our pride and for the tournament.”

Defender Megan Connolly praised the strides made by the team during Pauw’s four-year tenure, but said ultimately the decision on whether or not she remained in the job was outside of the players’ control.

“Obviously, it’s not my decision,” she said. “What we have achieved in the past two or three years under Vera has been amazing.

“I think she helped us get to this point and I can only speak from my own personal experience and Vera has been great for me, but it’s not my decision.”

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