Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw is relieved to have clarity after the Women's European Championships were delayed to 2022.
Pauw’s side are top of their qualifying group, albeit Germany remain hot on their heels with a game in hand. That, however, has taken a firm backseat amid the current crisis.
“It is great to have clarity on when the UEFA Women's European Championships will be played so that we can plan accordingly,” Paw told FAI.ie. “However, football has not been the priority for us of late with the world still battling against the coronavirus and our thoughts are with those we have lost, those who are fighting, and those who are aiding the fight.
“The reaction from so many people, around the world, to abide by Government and health regulations has been inspiring. So too has been the positive vibes from people posting video messages, taking part in various activities like the FAI HomeSkills drills, and doing what they can to help others. It is important that we all stay strong and stay safe during this period.
“As we look at the schedule ahead of us, there are still three group games to play and we remain in a good position to qualify for the European Championships. There is a lot of hard work ahead of us and it is fantastic that each of our players, who we remain in regular contact with, are working hard on individual fitness programs.
“We understand and accept UEFA's decision to move the European Championships to July 2022. So now our focus will be on planning ahead for our remaining qualifying games, arranging some friendly games, and then looking at the FIFA World Cup qualifiers once that schedule is set.
“To all of our supporters around the world, we look forward to playing our next game and representing Ireland as best as we can, but, right now, we urge you to stay at home, get some exercise every day, and do what you can to help others during this period."
Ireland have home and away games against Germany and an away game in Ukraine still to play, with the nine group winners and the three best runners-up qualifying directly for the final tournament. The remaining six runners-up advance to the play-offs.