No Dalglish for Ireland

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The Independent Online
Kenny Dalglish yesterday discounted himself as a candidate for the vacant Republic of Ireland manager's job.

Blackburn's director of football, who was in Portugal playing golf, was reported to be "fuming" that the Football Association of Ireland had leaked his presence on the shortlist for the interviews in London today and tomorrow, demanding the FAI issue a statement saying he was no longer interested.

"There are other people apart from Kenny who will be interviewed and we understand that Kenny has got a very important role to play with Blackburn," the FAI chief executive, Sean Connolly, said.

The Millwall manager, Mick McCarthy, a former Republic captain, and Wimbledon's manager, Joe Kinnear, another former Irish international, are likely candidates, as is Dave Bassett, late of Sheffield United.

McCarthy is favourite to succeed Jack Charlton, who left in December after the Republic's failure to qualify for the European Championship finals.

The Republic, who have only one confirmed friendly for the rest of this season, a visit to the Czech Republic on 27 March, start their World Cup qualifiers on 31 August in Liechtenstein. This is where the rot started in their attempt to qualify for Euro 96, when they were held to a goalless draw in June by a side gaining their first (and so far only) international point.

IRELAND'S WORLD CUP QUALIFIERS: Saturday 31 August 1996: Liechtenstein (a); Wednesday 9 October: Macedonia (h); Sunday 10 November: Iceland (h); Wednesday 2 April 1997: Macedonia (a); Wednesday 30 April: Romania (a); Saturday 7 June: Liechtenstein (h); Wednesday 20 August: Lithuania (h); Saturday 6 September: Iceland (a); Wednesday 9 September: Lithuania (a); Wednesday 11 October: Romania (h).