The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has announced its Facilities and Infrastructure Vision and Strategy, which analyses all facility and infrastructure needs of Irish football.
The strategy consists of almost 2,500 projects across three core areas of Grassroots, League of Ireland and International, bringing a total proposed investment of €863m.
Great to see the FAI Facilities and Infrastructure Vision and Strategy announced that will help transform International football as one of three key areas.
— Ireland Football ⚽️🇮🇪 (@IrelandFootball) June 8, 2023
Key points to be addressed in the strategy.
- Total investment proposed of €863m over 15 years focusing on the three core areas of Grassroots (€426m), League of Ireland (€390m) and International (€47m) and with a proposed funding approach from both public and private sources.
- Grassroots investment focusing on new pitches, upgrades to existing pitches, new and upgraded clubhouses and more multi-sport, community-focused facilities with the FAI Club Mark scheme at the heart of proposed changes, as well as the formation of eight new FAI grassroots regions. Of particular concern at the grassroots level is football for women and girls which has experienced exponential growth in popularity but will suffer without investment in facilities, as they will not be able to cater for ongoing demand and growth.
- League of Ireland investment focusing on Academies and connected training facilities, and LOI stadia and delivering a sustainable League that serves the needs of communities and football in every region. The investment will also support the development of talent in a post-Brexit environment as more young players remain in Ireland.
- International investment focusing on the development of a National Football Centre and high-quality facilities to produce competitive teams at all levels that can qualify for tournaments regularly.
The news follows the announcement of the FAI’s four-year strategy for 2022-2025, where the development of facilities was the number one objective.
🗣️ 'Any government funding, for anything but particularly sport, is always going to be emotional'@FAIreland chair Roy Barrett explains why he believes the Facilities and Infrastructure Vision and Strategy should receive the government funding that the FAI has requested | 💰 pic.twitter.com/OVTnuMZDEG
— Off The Ball (@offtheball) June 8, 2023
The FAI has outlined an evidence-based approach for investment while exploring all avenues of funding across various Government funds, local authorities, UEFA and FIFA private investment and investment from clubs, affiliates and the FAI itself.
FAI Chief Executive, Jonathan Hill, commented, "We are pleased to unveil our facility and infrastructure strategy today which was one of the key commitments in our four-year strategy announced in 2021.
"The goal of this strategy is to realise football’s full potential within our grassroots communities, deliver a new future for our League of Ireland, and inspire future generations by creating the environment to support and produce competitive international teams at all levels.
"We have the opportunity to take decisive action now and create a modern and fit-for-purpose football infrastructure and transform football in this country.
"As the governing body of football in Ireland, we have a responsibility to enable football to flourish, and in doing so to also support the interests of Irish society and the Irish economy. Our vision is to create the infrastructure and facilities that enable Ireland’s number one sport to thrive and deliver a truly transformational impact for Irish football."
Kenny is confident in his 25-man squad for Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny confirmed his 25-man squad for the upcoming UEFA Euro 2024 qualifiers last week.
A trip to Athens to face Greece on Friday, June 16, will present the first stage of the squad's Summer mission, followed up with a home fixture against Gibraltar on Monday, June 19.
There are over 44,250 tickets distributed for the Gibraltar qualifier on Monday, June 19, with Ireland set for another big Aviva Stadium crowd.
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