Stephen Hunt believes FAI has been "downright sloppy" over Martin O'Neill contract situation

He is concerned by the long-term consequences of a delay in putting pen to paper

Ex-Ireland winger Stephen Hunt believes the Football Association of Ireland has been "downright sloppy" in not getting Martin O'Neill to put pen to paper on a new contract.

A deal has been agreed but the contract that will run until the end of the World Cup 2018 campaign has not been signed as of yet.

Writing in his Sunday Independent column, Hunt is critical of the way things have been handled as well as the long-term implications of delays.

He writes: "The fact that the World Cup campaign has already started and he hasn't signed a deal is bizarre, peculiar and downright sloppy from the FAI, and it leads to a lot of questions way beyond the reason why he actually hasn't put pen to paper."

O'Neill has occasionally been linked with managerial roles in England and Hunt is concerned, musing, "What happens, say, if we're top of the group after three or four games and O'Neill gets a very lucrative offer from a Premier League club that's almost impossible to turn down?"

Read the full column here.