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Senator Wall Calls For Playing Pitches In Towns With A Population Above 5,000

Stock image: Pexels

It comes as the Football Association of Ireland is calling for €517-million in government funding

Labour sports spokesperson Senator Mark Wall has said the time for photo ops for football is over.

He is calling for Government to take action now and invest in football in Ireland.

The Football Association of Ireland wants to create a 'football infrastructure and industry’ with 863-million euro investment.

Government officials already have the 45-page - 15-year - vision and strategy document which was officially released today.

The FAI is seeking 517-million euro government funding with the other 40 per cent coming from local project partners, local authorities and the FAI.

The funding will be distributed under three headings; grassroots facilities, League of Ireland stadiums and academies and a national training centre in Abbotstown.

Senator Wall commented:“The landmark document published by the FAI toady is a step change in the approach to football in this country. Government must grasp the opportunity and take heed of the document published by the FAI.

“Investing in football will benefit every community in the country, and has the potential to combat poverty, disadvantage, addiction and is a tool for integration.

“For generations, there has been massive under investment in football. It’s time now to bridge that gap.

“No Government representative should be sending out congratulations about the women’s world cup unless they back the plan," he insisted.

“We know that the League of Ireland is getting more popular yet many men and women don’t have the opportunity to stay and play at home. Our indigenous football industry should be able to support players to play at home. Right now, facilities are substandard.

“There is also an urgent need for local authorities to identify land in every town plan throughout the country in respect of sports facilities. More and more sports clubs are coming to the maximum amount of usage of their current facilities.

"It is Labour’s belief that there should be such a facility in every town with a population above 5,000.

“For example, in Athy, Kildare County Council have zoned 13 acres for this purpose in the town. While it now is subject to a housing development commencement, unfortunately for some clubs in the town, time is not on their side.

“I’ve no doubt that this is replicated across the country. Sport is the lifeblood of communities nationwide. We need to see serious action from the Minister on this to ensure that sports can be embedded in communities.

“The FAI have done a lot to restore their credibility and have now produced a document with a vision and price tag attached," he added.

 

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