Euro 2028 bid a smokescreen for years of FAI under-investment in domestic football
Speaking following the announcement by the FAI and the Minister for Sport that Ireland will join with the football associations of Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales in placing a joint bid to host the 2028 Euro football tournament, Labour Spokesperson on Sport Mark Wall has queried how this bid will impact on the chronic under-investment in domestic football.
Senator Wall said:
“The news of Ireland and the UK’s joint bid has been met with bitter disappointment by many clubs throughout the country. They know that the money set to be spent on the bid would make a huge difference to communities up and down the country. There are several areas that require real investment here and now at home in our own League of Ireland, including the upgrading of facilities for spectators and for players from the grassroots up.
“I have been inundated by junior clubs all-round the country in desperate need of playing pitches and simple investment in equipment to allow them to start up.
“Indeed, it is only a few short years since our national women’s football team had to go on strike for the most basic of services and workers’ rights. We all want to see our national team compete at the highest level on an international stage but that wish must be balanced with investment. At the moment that is where our focus should be.
“The key to a brighter future for football in this country is investment in our junior clubs and our national leagues. The Government and the FAI need to tell us the plans for this investment and where it will be targeted; only then will we be in a position to follow our dream of hosting international tournaments, everything else is a smokescreen for years of under-investment in domestic football.”