Women’s victory must drive support for football – let’s keep them under pressure

Senator Mark Wall
06 December 2023

Heralding the great victory of the Republic of Ireland’s women soccer team last night, Labour’s sports spokesperson Mark Wall has called on Government to invest and support women’s football.

Senator Wall said:

“The Girls in Green were absolutely on fire last night and it’s fantastic to see so many people tuning in to watch the game last night.

“It goes to show the potential we have as a nation to return to our winning ways in the beautiful game, if only there was the political will to fund the sport.

“Ireland should have an ambition and vision for the game, and earlier this year Labour was proud to bring the first ever Dáil motion on football to the Chamber. Government supported our calls to better fund football nationwide, but we’ve yet to see any actual action.

“Football has been outside the political love circle for some time. Other codes have done an awful lot better. All you need to do is go to your local club team and you’ll see the glaring deficit in infrastructure within the game, both at grassroots and at League of Ireland level.

“While the deficit won’t be cheap to fix, it will be worth it. The power of football, and all sport, to unite us, to inspire us, to integrate communities is second to none. The time for complaining about the state of Irish football is over, it’s time to support it, invest in it and grow it.

“Nationwide, there’s a clear shortage of changing facilities, full-size pitches and other vital amenities in clubs. Facilities for girls and women are even worse, with many having to change in their car before training.

“We’ll never develop and grow the game if we treat players in our communities, and at a national level, like this. Government must get serious about providing community sporting clubs with basic facilities like the dignity of a dressing room and hot showers.

“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.”

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