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Basketball Ireland accuse Government of 'double standards' following €30million FAI bailout

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Basketball Ireland General Secretary Bernard O’Byrn

Basketball Ireland General Secretary Bernard O’Byrn

SPORTSFILE

Basketball Ireland General Secretary Bernard O’Byrn

Basketball Ireland has accused the Government of "double standards" and has called for extra funding to help grow the game following the Football Association of Ireland's recent bailout.

Talks between the new FAI top brass, Minister Shane Ross and department officials, UEFA and the banks laid the groundwork for the debt sharing solution which sees the existing annual Government payment of €2.9 restored and doubled for the next four years.

The Government is also providing an additional €7.5m interest-free loan to the embattled association to be paid back from 2024. This loan will go directly to the company charged with running the Aviva Stadium.

Now Basketball Ireland, who themselves were in financial turmoil in 2008, have issued a direct plea to "all political parties and candidates currently looking for support from the large basketball community around Ireland to commit to meeting with our representatives as soon as a new government is formed".

In 2008, Basketball Ireland ran up debts of €1.5million and today stated that instead of any assistance from the Government, they were forced to make half of their staff redundant and had to cancel international team programmes.

If those steps were not taken, "Basketball Ireland was deemed ineligible for the Capital Sports Programme for five years". "The Government imposed a significant fine on us, which served to worsen our financial position," added the statement.

Basketball Ireland also outlined the significant progress it has made since 2008. All international programmes have been reinstated and the sport has grown 60% in the past five years with an estimated 300,000 in the basketball community today.

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