Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly releases statement
Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has released a statement saying he is “furious and disgusted” by suggestions he was responsible for a leak in the Irish camp to British media.
The statement follows a difficult week for Ireland and manager Stephen Kenny, after reports emerged he had shown his players an anti-English video ahead of last week’s friendly defeat at Wembley.
Kelly had left the Irish camp ahead of the latest international window, citing coronavirus-related health concerns.
And on Saturday he released a strongly-worded statement, criticising “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.”
The full statement, which Kelly posted on Twitter, reads: “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.
“Enough is enough.”
Following their 3-0 defeat at Wembley Ireland were then beaten by Wales in Cardiff before rounding off their Nations League campaign with a goalless draw at home to Bulgaria.