Sunday 17 December 2017

Delaney faces grilling by TDs after Irish team goes public with its complaints

John Delaney Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
John Delaney Photo: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Football boss John Delaney faces the prospect of being grilled by TDs over the dispute between the FAI and members of Ireland's international women's team.

The Oireachtas Transport, Tourism and Sport Committee is set to seek an appearance by FAI chief executive Mr Delaney unless there has been a resolution to the row overnight.

An invitation for Mr Delaney and other FAI officials is to be sent as early as today depending on the outcome of mediation talks between the FAI and the players.

The Professional Footballers Association of Ireland (PFAI) - which is representing the members of the team who have raised grievances - is also to be invited to appear at the committee.

The allegations that there is a lack of support for the women's team came in a press conference on Tuesday.

Some of the team members complained that they lose money when they play for their country as they have to take unpaid leave from other jobs.

Other complaints include sharing tracksuits with underage teams and occasions where they've had to get changed in airport toilets on the way to matches.

Mr Delaney last night told RTÉ that it would not be proper for him to comment while mediation was talking place, saying: "I just hope all matters get resolved."

The FAI did not comment on the prospect of Mr Delaney being called before TDs.

The committee's chairman, Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin, said he hoped the dispute would be resolved.

"I would be very concerned if players on any Irish international team feel that they're not getting adequate treatment," he said.

"When people are representing Ireland you would always hope they would be getting the very best possible support and preparation."

Solidarity TD Mick Barry said: "It's simply not acceptable that the national women's soccer team be treated this way.

"The FAI is in receipt of a lot of State funding and I don't think that State funding should come with no strings attached."

Irish Independent

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