Fatal earthquake felt as Given prepares for Euro 2012

Alan Foley


Alan Foley

The tremors of an earthquake that killed at least 17 people could be felt where Shay Given and Republic of Ireland squad are preparing for Euro 2012 in Italy.

The tremors of an earthquake that killed at least 17 people could be felt where Shay Given and Republic of Ireland squad are preparing for Euro 2012 in Italy.

The 5.8-magnitude shock rocked the Emilia-Romagna area of northern Italy, about 210km from where Giovanni Trapattoni’s squad is training. The Irish team’s five-star Grand Hotel La Pace in Montecatini, Tuscany, shook when the quake hit at about 9am local time on Tuesday.

The Irish team and management wore black armbands in their warm-up match on Tuesday, a 5-0 win over a Pistoia select XI. Glenn Whelan, Darren O’Dea, John O’Shea, Given and Damien Duff given a night off. Robbie Keane scored twice for Ireland, while strikers Shane Long, Simon Cox and Jonathan Walters were also on target.

Trapattoni on Tuesday submitted his final 23-man squad list to Uefa with two changes from the squad originally selected.

Paul McShane was chosen for his abilities to play as a stand-in central-defender, coming in for Kevin Foley, which was a decision that put an end to any lingering notions Seamus Coleman might’ve had of getting promoted from the standy-by list.

Paul Green replaced Keith Fahy, who suffered a recurrence to a groin injury before Saturday’s 1-0 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina at the Aviva Stadium.

Trapattoni explained to Foley he would have to release him from the squad, believing with O’Shea, Richard Dunne and Sean St Legder all carrying complaints in the last week, there was need for cover at centre-half.

“With the injuries that we experienced in the squad over the past week, I have had to make a tough decision when it comes to naming the 23 players that must be submitted to Uefa for the championship,” the Italian said.

“Kevin Foley, John O’Shea, Paul McShane, Darren O’Dea, Shay Given had all been carrying knocks and we have been monitoring them closely in their recovery.

“Although Kevin has been recovering well, I have made the difficult decision to leave him out of the 23-player list after completing fitness tests on John O’Shea and Paul McShane. I have spoken to him and understand how difficult it is, saying that he can remain with the squad if he wishes.”

Given, who is recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss Saturday’s send-off in Dublin, insists the complaint with not rule out his participation, starting with a friendly against Hungary in Budapest on Monday.

Given tweeted last week: “All good news ref me knee. Just gotta rest for a few days and then back training next week. Thanks for all the kind messages.”

Ireland open their Group C campaign against Croatia on Sunday, June 10, before taking on world and European champions Spain in Gdansk fours days later. Ireland round off their group games against 2006 World Cup winners Italy back in Poznan on June 18.

Ireland squad: 1 Shay Given, 2 Sean St Ledger, 3 Stephen Ward 4 John O’Shea, 5 Richard Dunne, 6 Glenn Whelan, 7 Aiden McGeady, 8 Keith Andrews, 9 Kevin Doyle , 10 Robbie Keane, 11 Damien Duff, 12 Stephen Kelly, 13 Paul McShane, 14 Jonathan Walters, 15 Darron Gibson, 16 Keiren Westwood, 17 Stephen Hunt, 18 Darren O’Dea, 19 Shane Long, 20 Simon Cox, 21 Paul Green, 22 James McClean, 23 David Forde.