Northern Ireland's national soccer manager Michael O'Neill steps down after eight years in charge.
O'Neill steps down as Northern Ireland manager
SHOWS: FRANKFURT, GERMANY (NOVEMBER 18, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
THEN NORTHERN IRELAND MANAGER, MICHAEL O'NEILL (LEFT), ON PITCH AHEAD OF TEAM TRAINING SESSION 2.
SQUAD JOGGING ON PITCH 3.
VARIOUS MORE OF O'NEILL AT TRAINING SESSION 4.
O'NEILL SPEAKING AT A NEWS CONFERENCE (NOT A SOUNDBITE) 5.
O'NEILL AT NEWS CONFERENCE STORY: Michael O'Neill has left his job as Northern Ireland manager after eight years in charge due to the proposed rescheduling of international fixtures caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Irish Football Association said on Wednesday (April 22).
O'Neill, who is also the manager of English Championship (second-tier) side Stoke City, was set to oversee Northern Ireland's Euro 2020 playoff semi-final away to Bosnia and Herzegovina which was initially scheduled for March 26.
But with European governing body UEFA likely to reschedule the game for September after it pushed the Euros back a year, O'Neill, 50, said this was the best time to step down.
O'Neill took charge of Northern Ireland in 2011 and oversaw their qualification for Euro 2016 -- the nation's first major international tournament in 30 years -- where they were knocked out in the last 16.
Global soccer has been brought to a virtual standstill by the new coronavirus outbreak, with all major European leagues as well as European club competitions suspended.
(Production: Kurt Michael Hall)