Vera Pauw stopped to sign autographs at Dublin Airport when the Women's National Team returned from the World Cup in Australia. [Inpho/Evan Treacy]

Pauw contract not renewed

The FAI has called time on Vera Pauw’s four-year reign as Ireland women’s manager as the association’s board, after a six-hour debate, decided not to extend her contract with the senior team. Eileen Gleeson, who was appointed Head of Women’s and Girls football in January this year, will now be take charge of the Irish team for the Nations League games against Northern Ireland on Sept. 23 and Hungary on Sept 26 in a caretaker capacity as the FAI begin the search for a long-term replacement. The 11-strong FAI board debated Pauw’s future with the association at a board meeting which began at 4 p..m and lasted until just before 10 pm on Tuesday night. 

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An FAI statement said: ‘‘ At the meeting of the FAI Board, the Board has decided that Ireland Women's National Team Manager Vera Pauw will not be offered a new contract after the expiry of her current contract at the end of this month.’’ 

Appointed in September 2019, Vera led the team to their first ever major tournament the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023  and a FIFA Women’s World Ranking of 22. 

FAI CEO Jonathan Hill said: “On behalf of the Football Association of Ireland, we would like to thank Vera for her hard work and commitment over the past four years and wish her well for the future. In particular, I wish to acknowledge the role she played in leading Ireland to the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023 where our women’s team made history and inspired a nation.’’

RTE reported, "Ireland failed to make the knockout stages but they performed well at the tournament, losing narrowly to co-hosts Australia and Olympic champions Canada before drawing 0-0 with Nigeria.

"However, Pauw had other issues to contend with. Her time at the helm was soured by allegations made around her stint at NWSL side Houston Dash.

"Back in December she was named in a report which alleged that while manager of the Dash from November 2017 to September 2018 she shamed players for their weight and attempted to exert excessive control over their eating habits. Pauw has strenuously denied all allegations.

"It was a story that clouded preparations for the mission to Australia, where the manager's relationship with captain Katie McCabe also came under the microscope.

"The pair had an on-field row during the Nigeria stalemate, with McCabe urging Pauw to make changes in the later stages of the match; Pauw refused, and said in her post-match press conference: 'If Katie McCabe wants a change, it doesn't mean… she's not the coach.'"

Some who were supportive of Pauw felt that the leaking against her in media by players made it harder for the FAI to back her for a second term.