Republic of Ireland: Goalkeeping coach Kelly 'disgusted' by 'narrative' around video leaks

Alan Kelly
Alan Kelly won 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland

Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly says he is "absolutely furious and disgusted" with reports that his recent departure from the squad was linked to a controversial pre-match video.

The FAI is investigating a video message that was shown to the Republic players before last week's friendly against England.

The video reportedly contained some political content.

England ran out 3-0 winners at Wembley.

In a statement released on Twitter, Kelly addressed his decision to step away from the Republic squad prior to Wednesday's Nations League game against Bulgaria.

''I recently made a difficult decision to put my health first and football second as I continued to work, travel, eat and sleep in camp with the Republic of Ireland team during the recent international break," said Kellyexternal-link.

"Covid-19 was present in the camp and continuing to spread from person to person during this period. I made the decision to 'sit out' the last match because the risk was too high for me as an asthmatic.

"I am now absolutely furious and disgusted with the narrative and innuendo being created in the media that this decision is somehow linked with stories leaked to the press out of our dressing room."

Kelly, who represented the Republic 34 times between 1993 and 2002, worked as the national team's goalkeeping coach under Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and Mick McCarthy before being retained by Stephen Kenny following the Dubliner's appointment in April.

"I can say, with 100% certainty, that I have never bleated to the media in 35 years as a player and coach," added Kelly.

"And I've been in some pretty interesting dressing rooms.

"This narrative is totally and wholly wrong. It should beg the question who is spreading and benefiting from this? What I can say is that it is not me.

"I have been a loyal servant to Irish football for over 30 years and to now find my name and reputation being dragged through the mud is shameful."

"Enough is enough."

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