Keith Fahey has been granted ‘indefinite compassionate leave’ by his club Birmingham City to deal with ‘personal and family issues’ at home in Ireland.
Birmingham released a statement on their website this afternoon revealing that Fahey has been allowed to return home to Ireland for personal reasons and they have not put a timeframe on his return.
Fahey had been included in the original Ireland squad to face Greece last night, but he withdrew along with Aiden McGeady at the weekend because he was suffering from the flu.
"Keith Fahey has gone back to Ireland for personal and family reasons," said Birmingham boss Lee Clark in the statement.
"It’s compassionate leave. Whatever time it takes for that to get sorted we’ll leave in Keith’s hands. There’s no timescale. Football is my life and I take it very seriously but the one thing that is more important than football is my family, so I’m very understanding with my players if there’s a situation like this."
Clark wouldn’t reveal the exact reasons why Fahey was being granted the leave out of respect for his privacy, saying that he didn’t “want to go there because it’s far too private”.
“But it’s not an issue and I’ve told Keith that however long it takes if it’s days, weeks or runs into a month or months it’s not a problem.
“He needs to get it sorted because you have to go onto a football field with a clear mind. Keith will decide when it’s right for him to come back to the football club."
Whatever Fahey’s situation and however long it takes to resolve, we just hope to see him back in a Birmingham and Ireland jersey as soon as is possible.