Will O'Callaghan
Will O'Callaghan

18.27 14 Jan 2020


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Minister for Sport Shane Ross has again ruled out a government bailout of the FAI.

He was speaking following a meeting with a UEFA delegation at Leinster House about the future of the association, which UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis has described as "constructive".

After the meeting, the outgoing minister said the government want to restore funding to grassroots football but insisted there won't be a government bailout to the cash-strapped association:

"What we’ve said quite specifically is we’re anxious to restore the funding, which we had taken away from them, in order to benefit grassroots soccer.

"We have absolutely maintained rigidly that we’re not going to bail out anybody. That is not on the cards. What we are going to do is to ensure the future for the volunteers, the young people.

"We anticipate that within days we’ll have another meeting, possibly with members of UEFA and, finally, if we do get substantial progress we’ll hopefully have another meeting with all of the stakeholders together."

“I’m not going into details of exactly what they said as it’s very delicate at the moment but you can take it that everybody is united in ensuring there will be a solution that is shared," Minister Ross added.

“I don’t think a solution is a long way away. I think we’re talking about a very intensive time of negotiations and talks between the four parties in the next few days. I don’t think we’re talking about months or weeks, I think we’re talking about something happening fairly soon and getting a good result in the near future.”

Meetings are now played tomorrow with the FAI's main creditor Bank of Ireland, with the financial institution holding €29m of the Irish football's governing body's almost €70m debt.

 


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