Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has denied leaking information from Ireland's dressing room.
The furious ex-international lashed out a “disgusting” media narrative in the wake of his early departure from the Ireland camp prior to the Bulgaria game.
The Irish goalkeeper coach took to Twitter to vent his frustration at the “innuendo being created in the media” that his decision was somehow linked with stories leaked to the press about a controversial video shown to the Ireland team by manager Stephen Kenny ahead of last week’s friendly defeat to England.
Kelly opted to leave the camp ahead of the Nations League clash with Bulgaria last Wednesday due to health reasons.
As an asthmatic, he had decided to remain in the UK following last week's fixtures against England and Wales rather than fly into Dublin for the build-up to the Bulgaria game.
On Thursday it was reported that a video was shown to the squad on the day of the England game as a motivational tool.
Two and a half minutes of the video consisted of famous goals scored against the English, from Ray Houghton, Kevin Sheedy, Niall Quinn, Tony Cascarino and Shane Long, followed by 30 seconds of historical context of the relationship between Ireland and England.
The FAI launched an investigation into the video after it was claimed some members of the panel were unhappy with elements of it..
Now, Kelly issued his own statement, strenuously denying he had leaked details of the video to the press and criticising "the narrative and innuendo being created in the media" suggesting that he had.
“I recently made a difficult decision to put my health first & football second as I continued to work, travel, eat & sleep, in camp, with the Republic of Ireland national team during the recent International break”, reads the statement.
“Covid-19 was present in the camp & continuing to spread from person to person during this period.
“I made the decision to ‘sit out’ the last match because the risk was becoming too high for me as an asthmatic.
“I am now absolutely furious and disgusted with the narrative & innuendo being created in the media that this decision is somehow linked with stories leaked to the press out of OUR dressing room.
“I can say with 100% certainty that I have never bleated to the media in 35 years as a player and coach & I’ve been in some pretty interesting dressing rooms.
“This narrative is wholly and totally wrong & it should beg the question who is spreading & who is benefitting from this? What I can say is it’s not me.
“I have been a loyal servant to Irish football for over 30 years and to now find my name & reputation being dragged through the mud is shameful.