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McCarthy to quit after Euro 2004

London, Oct. 14 (Reuters): Ireland manager Mick McCarthy says he will walk away from the job after the Euro 2004, whether or not they qualify.

Ireland lost their opening qualifier 2-4 in Russia and face a home clash with Switzerland on Wednesday which they cannot afford to lose, with McCarthy insisting this will be his last campaign in charge.

In an interview in Monday’s Guardian, McCarthy said: “I’d like to qualify for the European Championships and then I will have done eight years in the job and I think that’s more than enough. “I will go away from it, whatever happens. Even if we qualify I will go and look for a job.”

McCarthy was favourite to take over at Premier League club Sunderland last week after the sacking of Peter Reid and although the job was given to former Leeds manager Howard Wilkinson, McCarthy says the day-to-day involvement of club football is his preferred option.

“I would still like to manage in the Premiership,” he said. “I’ll manage a football club but the kick is the team. That’s what drives us all on, I imagine. It certainly drives me: the football matches.

“You can have more of an influence on the players, certainly (at a club). That is the best part of the job, training with the players, doing coaching sessions, not all the other stuff that goes with it.”

For the moment, however, McCarthy is concentrating on making sure his team bounces back after the defeat in Russia. While not blaming that defeat in Moscow on the Roy Keane saga, McCarthy says the fall-out from the pre-World Cup bust-up is still hanging around.

Slovakia’s FA chief apologises

Slovakia’s FA chief apologised on Monday to his English counterpart after Slovak fans yelled racist taunts at England’s black players during their Euro 2004 qualifier last Saturday, reports Reuters from Bratislava.

During the match that was also marred by violence between England supporters and police, part of the Slovak crowd shouted racist abuse when England players Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey touched the ball.

Slovak Football Association president Frantisek Laurinec apologised to English FA chairman Geoff Thompson, saying the racism was not reresentative of Slovak fans as a whole.

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