Soccer-FAI did not make formal contract offer to Pauw, says chief exec

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Ireland FA chief Jonathan Hill said they did not make a formal offer to renew Vera Pauw’s contract ahead of the Women’s World Cup and that a post-tournament review had flagged “recurring themes” relating to her approach to training and conditioning.


Dutch coach Pauw, who was appointed in 2019, led Ireland to their first major tournament this year in Australia and New Zealand, where they exited in the group stage.

Following its review, the FAI said it would not renew her contract, which expired at the end of last month.

Pauw said on Aug. 31 that she had begun talks with the FAI over a new contract in March and that it had “committed to issuing an offer” before reconsidering their position.

“At no point was a contract offer ever presented to Vera,” chief executive Hill told reporters on Thursday.

“Conversations did not progress to a point where a formal offer was made to Vera … and in advance of the World Cup, we decided to pause discussions.”


Hill said the review flagged “recurring themes” such as training methods, the style and nature of sessions and approaches to conditioning and that it was clear Pauw would not change her “fundamental approach”.

“Vera was very clear, consistent and open in stating, not just to us but also to her staff and players, that she believed her approach … was absolutely the right one,” Hill said. “We feel we need a different and fresh approach.”

Pauw had said the FAI’s attitude towards her changed after The Athletic published an article in July containing allegations of misconduct during her time as manager of Houston Dash in the U.S. top-flight NWSL, allegations which Pauw strongly denied.

Hill said the article was a “distraction”.

“It wasn’t the content of the article but the effect of the article,” he added. “We believed it was not appropriate to offer a new contract at this point.”

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