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New coach ID scheme will be mandatory by 2020 - FAI


Ruud Dokter. Pic: Sportsfile

Ruud Dokter. Pic: Sportsfile

Ruud Dokter. Pic: Sportsfile

The FAI have promised to introduce a mandatory ID card for coaches as part of their child protection policy in a new coach education pathway.

The association plan to revamp the pathway for coaches by 2020, which they claim will not only suit elite coaches at the professional end of the game here but at all levels.

Recent revelations about child abuse in football in the UK have caused shock and anger and from now on, aspiring coaches must have Garda vetting before they can begin the process, though the FAI maintain that this plan had been put in place before the allegations of abuse emerged in the aftermath of a recent Guardian interview.

"This is something we're leading. I don't think the other national governing bodies will have a process where they have ID cards," says the FAI's coach education officer Niall O'Regan.

"I think it's sad what has happened and what's come to the fore but thankfully we have already identified good strategies, making sure we know exactly who is coaching in our game, what level they go up to and making sure that every player that's playing the game of football in Ireland is doing so in a safe environment," he added.

"No coach can now enter our coaching education unless they complete the garda vetting and the child welfare course - it wasn't always mandatory. We have a strategic plan to introduce a coaching ID card so that by 2020, every coach will have an ID card with their image, their club, their coaching qualification if they have one, and on the back of it, their garda vetting number and child welfare number."

The FAI's High Performance Director, Ruud Dokter, claims that "progress" is being made in the controversial plans for a new structure which many schoolboy clubs remain unhappy with.

"This takes time, but there has been progress. It is a change of culture and a change of mindset and this is why we are trying to encourage schoolboy clubs to facilitate and support League of Ireland clubs in the best possible way," Dokter said.