The preliminary draw for  the World Cup qualifiers will take place in St Petersburg on Saturday. Photograph: EPA.

Spare a thought for Zimbabwe as you tune into Saturday afternoon’s draw for the next World Cup’s qualifying stages: thrown out of a Fifa tournament(...)

Salvatore ’Toto’ Schillaci of Italy celebrates his winning goal against Ireland. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Amid disaster, triumph, and in defeat, jubilation. Italian football supporters leaving the magnificent Olympic Stadium in Rome on Saturday night gazed(...)

Jack Charlton with Arnold O’Byrne (left) and Brian Lenihan.

When Opel signed up as the FAI’s main sponsors in a four-year deal worth £100,000 per year in 1986 it looked like a decent bit of business by the ass(...)

Republic of Ireland  fans soak up the atmosphere.

He’s been to 130 Republic of Ireland away matches, every major tournament the ‘Boys in Green’ have ever been to and he’s spent an estimated €400,000 (...)

Niall Quinn celebrates his equalising goal against the Netherlands.  Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Jack Charlton was never a man to covet the kind of adulation normally reserved for film stars and athletes of less obvious physical attraction, who ca(...)

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill cuts a frustrated figure. Photograph: Inpho/Cathal Noonan 2:10

There is rarely a good time to hear the strange music of Scottish bagpipes. But an hour into what was supposed to be an exhibition of Irish fury at th(...)

Hope Castle in Castleblayney

The new Monaghan Tourism website does not exaggerate when it describes the local landscape as “unspoiled”. The county of the little hills is indeed(...)

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown was impressed with Ireland’s warm-up routine at Celtic Park. Photo: Michael Steele /Allsport

Former Scotland manager Craig Brown believes international football eligibility rules should be tightened. Brown says a team should be represented (...)

Robbie Brady gets above Raheem Sterling during the drab stalemate at the Aviva Stadium. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Maybe they should have waited another 20 years. As an exercise in smooth and incident-free organisation of an international fixture soaked in histo(...)

Managers always find it frustrating trying to get players enthusiastic for summer games and I remember Roy Keane missing some games for me in 2004 when he had booked holidays. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

When I was manager of the Republic of Ireland from 2003 to 2005 (that 10-year anniversary passed without much fanfare) something that really bugged me(...)