FAI launches investigation into 'anti-English' video claim

The FAI has launched an investigation into claims that Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny screened an 'anti-English' video prior to the match against England at Wembley
Andy Watters

EMBATTLED Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has come under unwanted scrutiny over claims that he showed his players an ‘anti-English' video before their game with England at Wembley on November 12.

Kenny has yet to win a match since he was appointed manager of the Republic senior team, a horror run that included missing out on a place at Euro 2021. His side hasn't scored a goal in over 10 hours of football and now the Football Association have announced that they are launching an investigation into the contents of the video the former Dundalk and Derry City manager allegedly used in a forlorn attempt to motivate his players before their 3-0 loss in London.

“The Football Association of Ireland is aware of issues surrounding content shared with our Republic of Ireland senior men's team ahead of the recent international friendly against England at Wembley Stadium,” read a statement released by the FAI last night.

“The FAI is already looking into this internally as a matter of urgency, in order to establish the facts. The FAI has no further comment to make at this time.”

There are unconfirmed reports that the controversy stems from a screening of the movie ‘In the name of the Father' starring Daniel Day-Lewis and that Kenny's message was intended to be pro-Irish, rather than anti-English. The Jim Sheridan-directed film deals with the wrongful arrest and imprisonment of Paul Hill, Gerry Conlon, Paddy Armstrong and Carole Richardson, the ‘Guildford Four'.

As a proud Irishman, Kenny is thought to be keen to immerse the Republic players in their nation's history and stimulate a sense of pride within his squad but since succeeding Mick McCarthy as manager, luck has deserted the Dubliner. In his eight games in charge, his often understrength teams have drawn four and lost four, scoring just one goal, a Shane Duffy header.

Their 0-0 draw against Bulgaria on Wednesday night saved the Republic from relegation from Nations League B but means they have failed to win any of their last 11 competitive outings, a run that stretches back to their 2-0 success over Gibraltar in June 2019.

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