Stephen Kenny, the newly appointed Ireland manager. Image Credit: AP

Dublin: Stephen Kenny has replaced Mick McCarthy as Republic of Ireland team manager, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) announced on Saturday.

McCarthy’s contract was due to expire on July 31 after the Euro 2020 finals, with Kenny initially scheduled to step up from his Under-21 team role on August 1. This move allows Kenny time to plan for the European Championship play-off semi-final against Slovakia later in the year.

Interim FAI CEO Gary Owens said: “This has been a difficult situation for the Association - and for Mick and Stephen in particular - in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it has had on the football calendar.”

McCarthy supported the decision and welcomed his successor to the new post.

“I fully support the decision. It’s only right and fair that Stephen gets his chance on August 1,” McCarthy said.

With four games set to take place in Dublin in 2021 for the European Championships, McCarthy plans to watch Ireland in 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,” he said.