Boost for O’Neill as Brady escapes sanction

Ireland’s prospects of reaching the World Cup in Russia were boosted yesterday after Robbie Brady was cleared to play in next month’s play-offs.

It’s been an anxious few days for Brady after Fifa opted to investigate an incident involving the Burnley man and Wales defender Ashley Williams shortly after James McClean’s match-winning strike secured a play-off spot for Martin O’Neill’s men.

Video footage showed Brady being pushed to the ground by Williams before getting up and moving his head towards the defenders back as he ran past him.

As a consequence, there was a worry that the 25-year-old might miss one or both of Ireland’s upcoming games.

However, having analysed the incident, Fifa yesterday decided that no action should be taken and Brady will be available for selection.

Yesterday brought further good news for O’Neill as Burnley manager Sean Dyche said Jon Walters might yet be available for the clash against one of Italy, Denmark, Croatia or Switzerland.

It was thought there was no possibility of Walters, who has been struggling with a knee injury, taking part in the double-header but Dyche yesterday offered a glimmer of hope.

Assessing the forward’s recovery Dyche said: “We are still not putting timescales on it. But it won’t be days, it will be weeks.

“We are hopeful it will settle down quickly. It already is.

“We were getting a specialist’s view of it, it needed a period to calm down.

“It’s a historical injury, a wear-and-tear injury and needed time to calm down.

“Once it has settled down, it’s getting strength through the knee and that’s where we are at.”

Meanwhile the FAI yesterday announced ticket details for the play-off double-header.

Tickets for the home leg, priced from €30 for adults and €20 for kids (excluding booking fees), will go on public sale at 11am today week.

Ireland’s opponents will be decided next Tuesday while the dates for the first and second legs, which will be confirmed after the draw, are 9-11 and 12-14 November respectively.


More in this Section

Pat’s fightback stuns champs

Now and then: 25 years of battling the Danes

Clairvoyant Conte predicted Blues struggle

Defour: De Bruyne’s quality shone early


Breaking Stories

Max Verstappen fumes after seeing podium spot taken by 'stupid decision'

You have to see Jamie Donaldson's warm-up and celebration at keeping his European Tour card

Jurgen Klopp tells Liverpool defenders he could have stopped first goal in trainers

Lifestyle

A helicopter put a piano on the 150-foot roof of Blarney Castle and other stories from the Cork Jazz Festival archives

Jazz Memories: Famous faces share their favourite moments

Live music review: The Horrors - Icy genius in a thrillingly intimate setting

Choosing a sheltered spot for Maples is vital

More From The Irish Examiner