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01st Sep 2023

Vera Pauw speaks about Katie McCabe after World Cup spat

Lee Costello

Vera Pauw

“Everybody makes mistakes.”

Former Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw has opened up on her relationship with captain Katie McCabe following their sideline spat during the World Cup.

During Ireland’s draw with Nigeria in Brisbane, McCabe turned to her manager and requested a substitution be made, resulting in a disagreement that became very public in the weeks that followed.

Despite leading the team to their first ever World Cup, Pauw was not given a new contract and ultimately let go by the FAI, following a six hour meeting on the matter.

Relationships between management, players and the staff seemed to have soured, and with the McCabe incident being one of the most high profile cases, it’s largely assumed that it was a factor in this decision.

However, the Holland native told RTE in an exclusive interview that the relationship between the two is strong, and that there are no hard feelings.

“We’ve spoken for over an hour with each other,” said Pauw.

“We are absolutely fine with each other. I’ve seen a lot on twitter regarding Katie. I hope that stops now. It’s a young woman that made a mistake.

“I’ve made mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. She should not be held accountable. I love Katie. Without spark no fire. And without fire no performance.

“Katie gives us so much. No hard feelings to her at all.”

There were undoubtedly bad feelings from other areas however, as the former national team manager admitted that some of her backroom team had turned against her.

“I found out that behind my back all things were happening. I found out that behind my back even my staff was talking bad.”

The FAI had released the following statement following the news that Pauw won’t be staying on as manager.

“On behalf of the Football Association of Ireland, we would like to thank Vera for her hard work and commitment over the past four years and wish her well for the future.

“In particular, I wish to acknowledge the role she played in leading Ireland to the Fifa Women’s World Cup 2023 where our women’s team made history and inspired a nation.

“The future is bright for women and girls’ football and our focus now is building upon the work done by Vera and the historic achievements of our women’s team, which we see as a platform to support the next phase of the journey for the team, and more broadly the development of women and girls’ football in this country.”

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