Mick McCarthy at a training session shortly before the beginning of the 2002 World Cup, which was played in Japan and South Korea. INPHO/ANDREW PATON
Mick McCarthy has thanked the "wonderful" fans for the support he was given in his second spell as Republic of Ireland manager.
At the weekend, the FAI announced, that McCarthy would be replaced by former Dundalk boss and current Under-21 manager Stephen Kenny with immediate effect.
Stephen Kenny with members of the Under 21 squad at Tallaght Stadium in November. INPHO/RYAN BYRNE
Speaking to FAI TV after the announcement, the former Ireland manager said his departure "was brought forward, with what's happening worldwide", due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Despite leading the team through the European Qualifiers, McCarthy said the chance not to lead the team to the European Championships in the summer of 2021 was "hugely disappointing, but I fully understand it."
Stephen Kenny takes charge of the team now ahead of the Play-Off against Slovakia and he has the full support of his predecessor.
"I fully support the decision. It's only right and fair that Stephen gets his chance on Aug. 1."
With four games set to take place in Dublin in 2021 for the European Championships, McCarthy plans to watch Ireland, if they're involved in any of those games.
"I said to Roy [Barrett] that the only thing I'd ask for when leaving is a couple of tickets for next EUROs when we qualify."