Basketball Ireland Call For Government Meeting Over FAI ‘Double Standards’

Basketball Ireland have questioned the Government’s ‘double standards’ following the financial rescue package agreed for the FAI. The Board is calling upon all politicians to commit to meeting them surrounding the future funding of the governing body

Last week a rescue package of €30million was agreed with the FAI. The government announced it will double the FAI’s funding and give them an interest free loan of €2.5 million annually for the next three years.

The Government is also providing an additional €7.5m interest-free loan to the association due to be repaid in 2024. This loan will go directly to the company charged with running the Aviva Stadium. With debts of €62m, the FAI desperately needed an immediate cash injection to continue to trade.

In a statement made today, Basketball Ireland pointed towards the “double standards” as to how the two sports bodies were treated during periods of financial strife.

In 2008, Basketball Ireland ran up debts of €1.5million. They stated that instead of any assistance from the Government they were forced to make half of their staff redundant and were suspended from international programme as well as having levies on members.

Following a discovery in 2009 that a sum of grant money given to Basketball Ireland was being used to fund development programmes rather than to purchase of equipment, Basketball Ireland were ordered to repay €124,000 to the Government, deemed ineligible for Capital Sports Programme grants for five years, and had a €500,000 grant to refurbish the National Basketball Arena withdrawn.

Last week, Basketball Ireland CEO Bernard O’Byrne, a former FAI chief executive, tweeted: “So who’s on the moral high ground now from which Basketball was dictated to when it was in trouble? Where was our bailout? Members and clubs took the pain and the hit. Still grossly underfunded while grubby politicians and lackeys make behind the door deals. #shameonyouall”.

Basketball Ireland also outlined the significant progress it has made since 2008. All international programmes have been reinstated and the sport has grown 60% in the past five years with an estimated 300,000 in the basketball community today.

“Since then, Basketball Ireland has turned its position around completely while receiving no financial help, but plenty of plaudits.”

HerSport Editor

Her Sport is a platform giving girls and women a voice in sport. Our mission is to level the playing field through increasing visibility, education and creating a cultural shift.
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