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Sunday 25 June 2017

Sadlier and Paul McGrath backing players' stance

RTE pundit Richie Sadlier
RTE pundit Richie Sadlier

Ian Begley

Former Irish soccer internationals have been quick to back the current female players in their row with the FAI over conditions.

Former Millwall star turned RTÉ pundit Richie Sadlier told the Irish Independent that he has a "huge amount of respect" for what the national women's team did.

"I can't imagine they did this lightly," he said.

"I understand how infuriating it must be for them over the FAI not engaging with them in a way they would have liked.

"When you actually read through all their issues it's clear that they're not asking for a lot.

"They have my absolute support and I think the FAI should sit down with them and sort out the specific issues they have raised.

"It's a shabby state of affairs when a senior international team in either gender has to work under these conditions.

"I suppose the FAI would be pretty embarrassed with the accounts that have been made public.

"I've known Emma Byrne a long time and have spoken to her several times about this topic.

"I have a huge amount of respect for them putting up with these conditions for so long.

"It's a shame for everyone that it got to this stage, but now at least everything is out in the open.

"They need a genuine commitment from the FAI in order to resolve these issues."

Former Aston Villa defender Paul McGrath also weighed in on the issue.

He wrote on Twitter: "You would like to think in this day and age women playing competitive sports would be treated exactly the same as their male counterparts."

While, retired international Andy Reid tweeted: "Fair play to the Irish Women's national team for making a stand.

"They only want to be competitive with other teams."

Irish Independent

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