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'Respect for the game is at an...
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'Respect for the game is at an all-time low' | Kilbane on Irish football's woes

Jake O'Donnell
Jake O'Donnell

20:04 19 Dec 2019

The ongoing mess at the Football Association of Ireland has decimated the respect and standing of Irish football, according to former international Kevin Kilbane. 

Kilbane was part of the Irish football hour on Off The Ball's 'Decade in a Day' and took the opportunity to take stock of Irish football at the close of the decade after a year of turmoil.

"We know the mess we are in now," the former Sunderland and Everton defender affirmed. "The mess has been caused certainly over more than a decade, I think we all accept that now. We all know that that is the case."

While the highs of Euro 2016 and parts of the O'Neill and Keane era were discussed, Kilbane made the case that it was hard to look past the future of the game in Ireland since the FAI's real financial situation came to light.

"We are going to be in a hole, we are going to be in such a tough position for such a long time. Before we get our respect back - the respect of the game in the country is at an all-time low - and you can't really see it improving unless dramatic things do change in the coming weeks and months and years ahead.

"We're going to have it tough. I think we are all probably accepting it now we're probably not even at the bottom of the barrel yet.

"I think it's still got a way to go yet before we're going to seriously get a grip on what has gone on and that is the worst thing that can ever happen to our game, because we're not producing players.

"We are starting now to get something in place that John Delaney would have always levelled, that we have started to produce at under-17s and under-19s and now we are getting the best of them in under-21s.

"We know full well that the way that we've been mismanaged across our game not just at senior international level and across the course of the FAI but also the League of Ireland has been overlooked badly and we're a poorer footballing nation for it."


Read more about

FAI Football Association Of Ireland John Delaney Kevin Kilbane

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