The Football Association of Ireland today (September 27) announced that it has been successful in its application for a FIFA grant for the National Sports Campus development.
FIFA will provide the FAI with a grant of $500,000 and the Government will contribute €500,000 towards the project. The funding will be used to develop two full sized pitches and dressing rooms adjacent to the FAI Headquarters on the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.
The news comes following the announcement in March this year by Minister Varadkar that four sporting organisations, the FAI, the GAA, the IRFU and the IHA had agreed in principle to the Government’s Development Through Partnership strategy for the National Sports Campus.
The FIFA grant, which is specific for the National Sports Campus Development will be released for works to begin in March 2013. The new facility will provide excellent training facilities for elite players and underage international squads.
The FAI development will complement work which started in September this year by the National Sports Campus Authority on refurbishing a new headquarters for 19 National Sport Governing Bodies, joining the FAI and the Irish Institute of Sport who are already based on Campus.
Announcing the FIFA grant, John Delaney, FAI CEO said:
“FIFA’s grant means a lot to the Association as it assists the FAI in achieving one of our strategic objectives in developing a National Sports Academy. By working together in partnership with the Government, the FAI will be able to realise an important piece of infrastructure that will be of great assistance in developing our young elite players, coaches and referees of the future. We look forward to beginning work on our part of the National Sports Campus project and providing significant benefits for Irish football for years to come.”
Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar said:
“This is a great announcement by the FAI and represents a significant further development in the Government’s plans for the Sports Campus. The new pitches and dressing rooms will complement the other facilities being developed in partnership with the other major field sports. This decision highlights the FAI’s commitment to the whole Sports Campus project, and it shows that the Government and the National Sports Campus Development Authority made the right decision by developing the facilities in stages through the Partnership Plan. The campus will really take shape over the next few months and I’d also like to pay tribute to the Sports Campus Authority for all their hard work.”
Minister of State for Tourism & Sport Michael Ring added:
“I’m very happy to hear about this new development. The Sports Campus is a key part of our overall sports policy and is playing an increasingly important role for our athletes. The new pitches and changing facilities will be a great addition to our national sports facilities and I look forward to seeing athletes from right across Ireland being turned into the sports stars of tomorrow.”
National Sports Campus CEO Barry O’Brien said:
“This development is warmly welcomed as it is fully in accordance with the Partnership Strategy which was announced last March, whereby the Authority installs a common infrastructure and grants the lands for sporting bodies to develop. In the meantime, the Authority will be placing contracts for Site Clearance, Common Infrastructure and Multi-Sport All-Weather facilities all of which are due to get underway on the National Campus next month.”