It is time the country moved on from Video-gate and started looking forward to the upcoming World Cup qualifiers, according to new FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill. 

Just weeks into his new role within the association, Irish football found itself enveloped in its latest drama as an English tabloid reported on what was described as an "anti-English" video that was played in the Ireland dressing room ahead of the match against England. 

The story, of course, attracted widespread coverage after it first appeared in the English newspaper, the Daily Mail, which was followed by a strongly worded FAI press release stating the association were "looking into this internally as a matter of urgency, in order to establish the facts". 

The rumour mill then took over as the leak was suggested to have come from certain quarters within the Ireland camp, which led to public denials amidst the finger-pointing. 

November’s international window eventually came to an end, yet Video-gate rumbled on, followed by more disruptions within the national team as two members of the coaching staff resigned their positions. 

Former Ireland goalkeeper Alan Kelly had to issue a public statement denying that he was the source of the "disgusting" rumours after calling time on his role with the team, while Damien Duff walked away from his coaching position saying that he would have been "unhappy" with himself had he remained in the position. 

The new chief executive met the Irish media for the first time on Friday, albeit in a virtual surrounding via Zoom technology, and while Hill would have expected a string of tough questions about his role in the job and the issues facing the association, it would appear that he has had quite enough talk of that infamous night at Wembley Stadium, where the motivational video didn't even had the desired effect, as Ireland crumbled to a 3-0 thumping. 

"I do not believe at this point in February in 2021 we should still be talking about that or the overall process," said Hill. "We should be moving forward positively. 

"If I am honest, I am a little bit frustrated that at the end of February, a good three months after, the whole issue is still being discussed. I do genuinely believe that we move on, the players want to move on and Stephen wants to move on." 

Yet Hill appeared open about the affair which caused so much consternation and was happy to offer his thoughts on the source of the leak, the manager’s concerns about people behind the scenes causing problems, as well as how the FAI handled the investigation into the matter. 

"Genuinely, I don’t think we will ever find the source of that story to that English newspaper. It all happened within five or six days of the game, so multiple people will have talked about it with multiple other people. I think it’s impossible to say who the source was. 

"In establishing the facts, we found no evidence of [people behind the scenes interfering] to be honest. 

Ireland lost the game 3-0 at Wembley Stadium

"What I do know is that when we became aware, initially from a newspaper within the UK media had got a story and then an Irish newspaper then got the story as well, of what they believed the story was, I feel comfortable that it was the right thing for us do, the FAI, to establish the facts.

"That is all that we did. The reason why we did that was because we wanted to know before we took it to the board and said 'look, these are the facts of the matter and this is what should happen'.

"In reality that took us 48 hours to do. Unfortunately, I couldn't be there to do it myself because I was here in the UK because of Covid. Gary Owens talked to people.

"I was then able to watch the video myself. I watched it and when I sat in front of the board, obviously I was the only English person on that call, I could say that on a personal basis I was not offended by the video at all.

"Given all of the other conversation we had, the board listened, debated and said there was no case to answer and we move on. And genuinely I think we must move on from it now. I would like the issue to be put to bed so we can move positively into the March qualifiers." 

And looking ahead to the World Cup campaign, Hill believes that Ireland’s quest to qualify is going to be tough but not impossible as they find themselves in a group with Portugal and Serbia with only one team gaining automatic qualification. 

"We are as positive and optimistic about the campaign as is Stephen," said Hill. 

"Given there are only 13 European nations who can qualify, is hugely challenging. It’s much harder than qualifying for the Euros.

"We should give our support to Stephen and the players as they prepare for what is going to be a difficult but not impossible World Cup qualification campaign." 

Hill also admitted that he would see no problem with the manager choosing to use motivational material in the dressing room in future and emphasised that he would not get involved in team matters. 

"I would not, and do not, seek to interject into how he prepares his team. Motivation is clearly a significant part of any coach’s armoury so I’m sure Stephen will seek to motivate his players in the way he feels best."