The father of Republic of Ireland player Tyler Toland has urged the Football Association of Ireland to act in the row with manager Vera Pauw that has halted her international career.
Pauw claims Toland’s father Maurice has subjected her to “harassment and intimidation” over the 19-year-old’s absence from the national team’s squad.
He denies Pauw’s allegations and has called for an independent mediator.
“Someone has to step in here and get to the bottom of this,” he said.
“Allegations have been made against me – but at the end of the day my daughter and her future is the most important thing here.”
Speaking on Friday after the World Cup draw, Republic of Ireland boss Pauw said: “When a dad harasses me and a dad is intimidating me for 50 minutes and the player says she will never, ever play for you as long as you are coach, and the reason was she was not in the line-up… I want to make that clear for once because there is a lot going on.”
Toland became the Republic’s youngest senior international at the age of 16 in 2017 but the last of her 13 caps was in autumn 2019.
Harassment allegation ‘ludicrous’ – Toland’s father
The Donegal woman is currently on loan at Scottish club Glasgow City from Manchester City.
“The only conversation I have ever had with Vera Pauw was in January 2020, but to say I harassed or intimidated her during that call is ludicrous,” said Toland, a former player with League of Ireland club Finn Harps.
“I felt if Tyler wasn’t in the plans for the senior team, it would have been good for her development and for her game time to get with the Under-19s.
“And the Under-19 manager has contacted me asking about her availability, so this wasn’t me trying to influence or get Tyler selected.”
Toland claims the situation escalated in Athens in November 2019 after his daughter was left out of the team for a third successive World Cup qualifier.
The midfielder has not been part of the Republic of Ireland senior squad since that game, although her absence was initially attributed by Pauw to her lack of game time at Manchester City.
“Vera told Tyler she looked ‘too leggy’, that her legs had got 10cm bigger since she moved to City and suggested she would pick up an ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] injury ‘by the second week in November’ if she maintained the training she was doing,” said Toland of the Athens incident.
‘Tyler needs to call me’ – Pauw
The player’s father also says her weight then dropped from 63kg to 57kg, which made those close to her concerned about her physical and mental wellbeing.
The Republic of Ireland manager said on Friday that Toland needs to “call me to explain how she can come back into the squad”, having texted her last month.
“Young players can make mistakes but Tyler needs to realise she has made a mistake and not put it on my plate,” said Pauw.
“I read in the newspaper that she changed her mind. Maybe a bit of guts would help.
“I’m not the one breaking her career; I’m only here to save her career.”
Toland’s father described Pauw’s comments about needing “a bit of guts” as “below the belt”.
“Remember, three years ago Tyler – she had just turned 17 – played almost an hour of a qualifier against Northern Ireland with two fractures on a knee,” he said.