Delaney unfazed by Ireland’s ranking slump

FAI chief executive John Delaney is not concerned about Ireland’s slump in the Fifa rankings, insisting Martin O’Neill has the players to instigate an upturn in results.

The latest listing by the world governing body places Ireland at their worst ever position of 70th.

Declining co-efficients and rankings have knock-on effects on Ireland’s position in qualification of major tournaments. Unless there’s a drastic improvement in results during the next year, Ireland will enter the draw for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers next summer as fourth or even fifth seeds.

Asked if the ranking reflects the current state of Irish football, Delaney replied: “I wouldn’t agree with that. The fact we’re seeded second in our [2016] European qualification group shows that the Fifa rankings sometimes don’t correlate to what is your actual ranking in football.”

Meanwhile, FAI delegates will today be asked to support a proposal to increase the age-limit that their elected officers can remain in their posts beyond 75 years.

The now traditional Emergency General Meeting (EGM) at Abbotstown, held to deal with rule changes ahead of the more processional Annual General Meeting (AGM) in July, includes a proposal of alteration to Rule 14 (2).

The FAI has so far declined a media request to reveal the ages of current office holders.


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