O’Neill steps down as Northern Ireland boss

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Michael O & # 39; Neill has left the position of manager of Northern Ireland after 8 ½ years in charge.

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RTE Sport reported that a mutual decision between the FA of Northern Ireland and O & # 39; Neill was decided to leave the position due to the proposal to revise international games by UEFA in relation to the situation of Covid 19.

In a statement, he said: "After careful consideration and after discussions with the Irish Federation, I feel it is right that now is the right time to step aside." He continued: I would love to have the opportunity to manage Northern Ireland in the UEFA 2020 recap game against Bosnia and Herzegovina and the chance to qualify for another major tournament, but the current situation means that this is no longer possible. "

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O'Neill was announced as head of Stoke City in November 2019. He ran for both positions and said he would watch the qualifying campaign for 2020. However, as Euro 2021 has now been pushed into Euro 2021, he felt well when leaving office. It seems likely that the play-off games will be played in October or November this year.

O'Neill said he worked with many medical, training and support teams during his time as head of Northern Ireland. He said: "Throughout my time here, I have been fortunate to have worked with many excellent training, health care and support teams, which contributed to our success and shared in some great moments". He also thanked all the players he managed, saying: "I would like to thank everyone for an overwhelming level of commitment and professionalism".

Irish FA CEO Pat Nelson, commenting on O'Neill's departure, said: "It is within a unique set of circumstances that we close our unforgettable chapter with Michael O & # 39; Neill". He continued: "We were all looking forward to Michael returning to lead the team in March for the game against Bosnia and Herzegovina, but for obvious reasons, it just wasn't like that."

O'Neill guided Northern Ireland to Euro 2016 in France. It was the first time that Northern Ireland has qualified for a major tournament in 30 years. His team progressed in the group stages, losing to Wales in the last 16.

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