Vera Pauw has hit out at the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) for conducting a “flawed” review during negotiations surrounding the extension of her contract as head coach of the Republic of Ireland’s Women’s team.
It was announced on Wednesday that Pauw will not be retained following the end of her current contract, which expires this week.
In a statement released on Thursday, Pauw claimed the FAI’s review was “pre-determined”, and said a breakdown in relationships with “certain people in the FAI” came after allegations were made against Pauw in July.
The allegations were reported by The Athletic in the run-up to the World Cup, claiming the Dutch coach created a “culture of fear” during her time with US club Houston Dash.
In Thursday’s statement, Pauw reiterated that she refutes the allegations, and added that following the publication of the story “the FAI made some major mistakes by directly overruling the tasks of the coach”.
Pauw said she had made it clear prior to the World Cup that she wished to remain in her position and entered into discussions with the FAI in early March to extend her contract. She added the FAI “also expressed their commitment to this outcome”, and that she requested that a decision be finalised before the team left for the World Cup.
“Despite committing to issuing an offer to me, the FAI re-considered their stated position and I never received the promised offer.
“I parked the contract discussions while we were in Australia, as my sole focus was the team and the competition,” Pauw said.
She claimed that following the allegations made in The Athletic article: “My position became very challenging when executives in the FAI, not technical football coaches, effectively took my seat and spoke to staff members and players regarding their roles in the team before and after the World Cup.
“My advice – coming from my knowledge and experience – was often disregarded and not respected.”
Pauw added: “Unfortunately, trust broke down between me and certain people in the FAI. I believe that the review process which the Association has carried out was flawed and that the outcome was pre-determined.
“Indeed, some discussions were held with players and staff before and during the World Cup which undermined my position and had an impact on our team-building process. That is perhaps for another day.”
Despite the matter, Pauw said she does not leave with any regrets, adding: “My overriding emotions today are of happiness and pride to have played a part in the wonderful journey of this team over the last four years.”
She paid particular thanks to the colleagues and players she worked with during her tenure, as well as the Irish people for their support.
Sport The key questions behind Vera Pauw’s Republic of I… Read More
“The Irish fans are rightly recognised all over the world for their fantastic support and the way they have been behind this team, both at home and away, has been remarkable,” Pauw said.
“This team will only grow. Better structures are now in place, facilities have improved, stability is secured and the players are ready to face any challenge. I am confident that women’s football in Ireland will go from strength to strength.
“Thank you all so much for making my time in Ireland unforgettable. I wish continued success to this team. I will be watching closely,” Pauw’s statement concluded.
The FAI has been contacted for comment.