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

Pep Guardiola’s Man City still facing the ultimate test

Manchester derby defeat felt like a big punch, says livid Herrera

Antonio Conte: Chelsea must be at ‘120%’ to beat Barcelona

Christian Benteke contrite for penalty blunder


Breaking Stories

What the papers say: Football rumours from the media

Man City on course for record mid-season lead

Rhys Ruddock 'out for three months'

Australia appoints world's first female national rugby union chief executive

Lifestyle

No wee feat: Daniel back in the charts with new album this Christmas

The League Of Gentlemen sketch troupe back on TV screens after 15 years

Get ready for the Jedi in latest Star Wars instalment

A heavy burden for such young shoulders caring for parents this Christmas

More From The Irish Examiner