The report evaluates the FAI’s role during the Irish soccer squad’s preparations for the World Cup finals campaign in Japan and Korea last summer and directs strong criticism at the FAI over the affair that indirectly led to captain Roy Keane being sent home before Ireland’s opening game. It was commissioned in the wake of Keane’s dramatic departure.
Keane left the squad after clashing verbally with then manager Mick McCarthy, following complaints he made about conditions at the team’s training location on the island of Saipan.
The report also calls for major changes to the management of the national side, saying that the FAI lacks discipline, with the result that crises such as the Saipan event were not contained and dealt with.
The report also suggested that the FAI needed time to reflect on the need for change, given that its present management structure is unacceptable.
With that in mind, the report continued, five senior professional appointments are needed to manage the organization including a chief executive, a director of finance, and a director of communications.
The minister for arts, sport and tourism, John O’Donoghue, expressed surprise and regret at Menton’s resignation. He said he hoped the FAI would reflect on the report and implement reforms.
O’Donoghue added that he looked forward to the continuation of the positive relationship which existed between the government and the FAI.