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soccer probe FAI launch investigation after Ireland team 'shown video of political nature' ahead of England game

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Ireland manager Stephen Kenny shakes hands with England manager Gareth Southgate at Wembley

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny shakes hands with England manager Gareth Southgate at Wembley

PA

Ireland manager Stephen Kenny shakes hands with England manager Gareth Southgate at Wembley

THE FAI have launched an internal investigation into the political nature of a video message which was shown to the Republic of Ireland squad by the coaching staff before last week's friendly against England in Wembley.

And that will put even more pressure on senior team manager Stephen Kenny, who is contracted to the FAI until the end of the 2022 World Cup campaign.

Ireland lost 3-0 to Gareth Southgate's side but the build-up to the game is now the focus of the FAI board, who met this morning to discuss the incident as they were concerned over the pre-match video.

It's believed that some members of the FAI party, including players and at least one member of the coaching staff and a member of the non-football staff, were upset by what was described as overtly political content of a video shown to the players as a motivational tool ahead of the clash with England.

The video was shown to the squad at their London hotel on the day of the England game while manager Stephen Kenny followed that up with a speech which is believed to have touched on political matters.

It's understood that a senior FAI official who was present for the video screening expressed his concern to the board, who are meeting on Thursday evening, and the board have asked senior team manager Stephen Kenny to give his account of the incident.

"The Football Association of Ireland is aware of issues surrounding content shared with our senior men’s team ahead of the recent friendly against England at Wembley Stadium. The FAI is already looking into this matter internally as a matter of urgency to establish the facts. The FAI has no further comment to make at this time," an FAI spokesman told Independent.ie.

Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly was part of the coaching staff for the England game and the subsequent Nations League tie in Cardiff but he did not travel to Dublin for the Bulgaria fixture, stating he had made a "personal decision" not to travel to Dublin due to health concerns.

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