Sport Ireland has snubbed an application for €550,000 in funding for League of Ireland Women’s Premier Division clubs. Domestic football, including the women’s game, is currently experiencing a great level of growth that should be supported by the sporting authority, according to Garrett Greene, Workers’ Party representative for Cabra-Glasnevin.
“The recent growth of football in Ireland has seen a renewed interest in domestic football, both men’s and women’s, from the public that hasn’t been seen in decades. The women’s national team have also qualified for this summer’s FIFA World Cup. This is an opportune time for the sporting development authority to really get behind domestic football, but instead they’ve snubbed the women’s league at a crucial time in its development.”
“Much has been made as of late in the media about the money received from the government by other sports, namely greyhound and horse racing. Indeed, the government recently announced funding of €550,000 to redevelop a Gaelic ground in New York. Here we have an application made by a game growing quicker than ever before asking for a modest amount of funding, with each club expecting only €50k according to a report from The Irish Independent, and so the response from Sport Ireland is really disappointing, especially for those who have spent years giving their time to an underfunded sport; women’s football.”
“The game has made leaps and bounds since Stephanie Roche and her teammates had to hold a press conference in Liberty Hall back in 2017 to air their grievances about the conditions faced by the women’s national team. They were listened to and six years later they are preparing for a World Cup. Imagine the positive difference that could be made if they took the lack of funding of both men’s and women’s domestic football seriously.”
“Ireland is a football-mad country. Our politicians know this, and no doubt they’ll all be lining up for photo opportunities when the girls in the green head over to compete in Australia this year. They should be putting their money where their mouth is to support the next generation of female footballers who are currently or will in future ply their trade here in Ireland.”