Ministers confirm grant funding for Ireland women's soccer team despite ongoing issues with FAI
The board of Sport Ireland have approved the payment of grant funding for the Women’s national soccer team, despite ongoing issues with the FAI.
The move has been welcomed by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross and the Minister with responsibility for Sport Brendan Griffin.
The grant of €195,000 will be paid by Sport Ireland to accountancy and business advisory firm BDO, who will oversee the disbursement of the funding in line with terms and conditions.
The core objective of the fund is about raising standards and improving the quality of playing and training environments for the Women’s National Football Team.
Minister Ross said: "I am very pleased that we can now confirm the payment of the 2019 grant for the Women’s National Football Team and that a process has been put in place which will ensure that there is full accountability in relation to this funding.
"This funding scheme, which recognises the unique status afforded to players who represent Ireland, was introduced last year.
"Regrettably funds had to be withheld this year due to the financial and corporate governance failures in the FAI.
"Despite this, we have been eager to ensure we continue to support the players who make such a huge contribution as the leading exponents of Women’s football in Ireland.
"There is no reason why the mistakes of the FAI top brass should be borne by innocent players. We must recognise their commitment to representing our country with such distinction, at the highest level.
"The team are wonderful role models for young women and girls and I hope they will build on their recent success to secure qualification for the UEFA Women’s Euro 2021."
Minister Griffin said: "I welcome the decision by the Board to approve this payment which will support the Women’s National Football Team programme and assist in further improving the standard of playing and training environments.
"The women’s team have enjoyed unprecedented attendances and support from the fans in their recent home internationals.
"I am delighted that a process is now in place to support the players while ensuring appropriate oversight of public funds.
"While it remains the position that funding to the FAI is suspended, the Government is continuing to support the development of football in Ireland, as evidenced by today’s decision and the recent announcement of over €4.5 million in Sports Capital Programme grants to football clubs throughout the country."
Ireland internationals Jamie Finn and Niamh Reid Burke said: "On behalf of the Ireland players, we thank Sport Ireland for their support and look forward to doing the country proud in the remaining Euro 2021 qualifiers."
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