Stephen Kenny is to succeed Mick McCarthy as Republic of Ireland manager with immediate effect, the Football Association of Ireland has announced. Kenny, 48, was already set to replace McCarthy, 61, after Euro 2020 but the postponement of the play-offs and the tournament itself until 2021 because of Covid-19 has accelerated the FAI plan. McCarthy was appointed for a second spell in charge in November 2018.
A statement said both men had agreed the Under-21 manager should take over. “The Football Association of Ireland announces that Mick McCarthy is to be succeeded as national team manager by Stephen Kenny with immediate effect,” read the FAI statement released on Saturday. “The handover has been agreed with both men in light of the delay to the European Championship play-offs caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Mick’s contract was due to expire on 31 July after the EURO 2020 finals, with Stephen initially scheduled to step up from his Under-21 role on 1 August. “This move allows Stephen time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year.” The former Dundalk manager’s first match in charge will be the Republic’s European Championships play-off semi-final against Slovakia. Originally scheduled for 26 March, it was this week postponed “until further notice” because of the coronavirus pandemic, having earlier been pushed back to June. UEFA’s announcement on the further postponement of the play-offs encouraged the FAI to revise its plan to have Kenny succeed McCarthy after EURO 2020.