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FAI ask League of Ireland clubs for more time to provide details on return-to-play financial package

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The FAI hope to stage a four-team tournament at the Aviva Stadium this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The FAI hope to stage a four-team tournament at the Aviva Stadium this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

The FAI hope to stage a four-team tournament at the Aviva Stadium this summer. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

THE FAI have asked League of Ireland clubs to give them more time to provide details of the financial package needed to enable football to return after the Covid-19 crisis.

Association officials have held a conference call with delegates from the seven-member National League Executive Committee, which represents league clubs, though a planned meeting with players' body, the PFAI, was postponed until Wednesday and instead Dr Alan Byrne, the FAI's Medical Director, held a Zoom meeting with a number of League of Ireland players to answer their questions on protocols around a return to action.

The FAI are keen for senior football to resume this summer, with a four-team tournament in the Aviva Stadium in July between the clubs due to play in UEFA competition proposed for this summer, while August 14th has been mooted as a possible date for the return of the league.

Dr Byrne has this week stated that a return to training for the four European clubs on June 8th, and the subsequent tournament behind closed doors in July, would 'create a template for the safe return of football' at other levels such as amateur and underage.

But the FAI have still to put in place the financial supports needed to cover the medical and logistical costs attached to a return to training and playing in a safe environment, with senior officials admitting that apart from possible income from streaming games live, funding from an outside agency such as FIFA would be needed to cover the costs.

"The FAI are keen for it to happen but they need more time," said a source on the NLEC. Five of the top flight clubs remain sceptical about a return to action behind closed doors.

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