Republic of Ireland manager Vera Pauw praised the FAI's decision to delay their social media blackout until midnight on Saturday in order to support and promote the women's game in Ireland.

Footballing bodies and clubs including UEFA, FIFA and the Football Associations of Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are all boycotting social media to show solidarity in the fight against online abuse and racism.

While the boycott started at 3pm on Friday, the FAI delayed their part in it until midnight because of the Women’s World Cup 2023 qualifier draw in Nyom.

Pauw’s charges were drawn against Sweden, Finland, Slovakia and Georgia in what is the most significant campaign ever undertaken by Ireland.

In delaying the start of their boycott, Pauw believes that the FAI have supported another marginalised group in women soccer players and while she is fully supportive of the blackout, she questioned the timing of it, given that it coincided with the World Cup draw.

"Today there was a ban today from UEFA because of discrimination acts and FIFA and UEFA had banned social media.

"[There was pressure] on Ireland to step in line on that but our association stands strong and said listen, the facts of what you’re fighting for, we’re completely behind it.

"But if you had another group who has always been discriminated against in football and we try now to support them and we do not ban social media at the moment when another group, who deserves the same support, is having the draw for their biggest event ever.

"We as an association only start our ban at midnight because we will not let the group suffer, who has already suffered for maybe 100 years and has suffered from less opportunities and less moments to play."

For Pauw, seeing the FAI willing to take a stand and risk criticism in order to support the women’s game proves just how far things have come in Irish soccer,

"I’m very proud of [the FAI] because you have to stand your ground and you have to really stand up for women to do that," she said.

"I’m also very proud that tonight, when we’ve done all our things so that the women who deserve to get that support, who have always been deprived of that support and are now getting it, when that is done then we go fully into the ban because discrimination needs to get out of our game always and forever.

"I felt proud that it shows the commitment of the FAI to women in sport."