Michael O’Neill turns down Scotland national team job

Michael O'Neill.

Michael O’Neill has turned down the opportunity to take over as Scotland boss.

The 48-year-old had been expected to succeed Gordon Strachan but will continue in the post he has held since 2011.

In a statement the Northern Ireland boss said: “Having given the matter a great deal of thought and consideration, I have decided not to take up the opportunity to become the next Scotland National Team Manager.

“It’s a huge honour to be offered the position, however, I do not feel that this is the right opportunity for me at this moment in my career.

“I would like to place on record my gratitude to the SFA for the very professional manner in which they conducted negotiations and I would also like to wish them every success for the future.”

Stewart Regan, Scottish FA Chief Executive, said: “The process of identifying and recruiting a new Scotland national coach remains ongoing.

“The Board of the Scottish FA appointed a sub-committee to oversee the recruitment process, compile a list of suitable candidates and ultimately make a recommendation.

“As part of that process, and in recognition of his work in taking Northern Ireland to UEFA Euro 2016, Michael O’Neill was identified as an obvious candidate for consideration.

“To that end, we requested permission to speak to Michael from the Irish Football Association, which was accepted.

“Michael and his advisers met our delegation in Edinburgh on Thursday and discussed all aspects of the role during a three-hour meeting.

“While this was a positive and cordial discussion, we respect Michael’s decision to remain loyal to Northern Ireland, with whom he has enjoyed great success.

“We wish him well in his future endeavours and thank the Irish FA for their professionalism throughout.

“We now continue our recruitment process from the candidate list established by the selection committee, with a view to giving the new national coach ample time to prepare the squad for the UEFA Nations League.”

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