Message from Vera Pauw
With all football activities suspended as health authorities battle with the global virus, Pauw believes that it would be wrong to be looking ahead to their three remaining UEFA Women's European Championship qualifiers - and a possible play-off - until it is safe to do so.
Last Tuesday, UEFA declared that 'all UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice', and that is something that Pauw reckons is the right call.
'We respect UEFA's decision because the health of our players, coaches, staff, officials & supporters must be of paramount importance," Pauw told FAI.ie
"We will wait for further clarity on when our fixtures will be rescheduled and we will plan accordingly to continue our great start to qualifying for EURO 2021, but, right now, it is all about the healthy & safety of people around the world."
Pauw has been in contact with each of the international players who were part of the squad who claimed recent victories over Greece and Montenegro to discuss what their current training regimes are. The idea is not to overload the players or to contradict any instructions from their respective clubs, but to help the players stay active.
However, Pauw fully understands the limitations behind any training that a player can take on because it would be a solo venture due to the HSE's advice of maintaining social distancing during this period. And she believes that adhering to the guidance of medical professionals is the only thing that truly matters now.
"Our thoughts are now with anyone who is battling with the coronavirus and those who we have tragically lost in this period. It is hugely important not to underestimate this virus," said the Ireland manager.\"The FAI has been working closely with the HSE and UEFA throughout, so I would encourage anyone connected with women's football in Ireland to follow their guidelines because football is not the priority right now, health & safety is."
Speculation continues to swirl around the April 11th qualifier away to Germany, but no decision has yet been made on that game. However, the subsequent friendly against Serbia, that was scheduled to take place in Belgrade on April 14th, has been cancelled.
All home-based training camps at the FAI National Training Centre are on hold, while the start date for the 2020 Women's National League season is still uncertain - it was originally scheduled to kick off on March 14th.
Pauw also insists that this postponement of football does not lie solely with the elite level, but also at schoolgirl and recreational level where everyone should take the same precautions during this critical period.