Government support football funding – Labour vow to keep them under pressure
Speaking following the conclusion of Labour’s motion to increase investment in domestic football, Deputy Ged Nash said it was an historic day for the game in Ireland.
Deputy Nash said:
“It’s a huge win that Government supported the Labour Party motion to invest in and support Irish football. Let’s now translate the new political consensus into real action to build our game.
“The nation has been gripped by football fever as the senior women’s team prepares for the World Cup Down Under. Ireland should have an ambition and vision for the game, and today’s Dáil debate was about inspiring action from Government.
“The FAI published a report earlier this month calling for an investment requirement of €863 million over a 15-year period to address deficits in facilities and structures. This watershed report calls for sustainable external support to make a vision for a thriving football industry in Ireland, and Labour is calling on Government to heed today’s motion action now.
“If Labour’s plans are acted on, we could turn football into the major industry we know it can become, with talented players and administrators being able to make decent careers here.
“It’s crucial that change happens now, and we need to get the basics right.
“Nationwide, there’s a clear shortage of changing facilities, full-size pitches and other vital amenities in clubs. Government must get serious about providing community sporting clubs with basic facilities like the dignity of a dressing room and hot showers.
“Football has been outside the political love circle for some time. Other codes have done an awful lot better. What the FAI are legitimately pointing out is the deficit in infrastructure within the game, grassroots, League of Ireland level, and in terms of the international scene. While the deficit won’t be cheap to fix, it will be worth it. The time for complaining about the state of Irish football is over, it’s time to support it, invest in it and grow it.
“The FAI has gotten its act together. It’s time the political system responded.”