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FAI and women's national team reach deal after overnight talks

Players had said they were forced to train under “humiliating” conditions.

The players at Tuesday's press conference
The players at Tuesday's press conference
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland (FAI) and the senior women’s national team have reached an agreement during mediation talks about conditions.

At a press conference on Tuesday, team members said they were forced to train under “humiliating” conditions.

It emerged that players were, among other issues, forced to change in and out of team kit in airport toilets before and after away trips as the tracksuits are also used by underage teams.

In a booklet produced by the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland (PFAI) and presented to the FAI, the primary concerns of the players were outlined as follows:

  • Access to nutritionist, and individual strength and conditioning programmes
  • Gym membership for squad
  • Hotel accommodation to include at the very least working and reliable WiFi
  • Apparel for travelling to be provided to the squad prior to meeting up at airport
  • More home-based training sessions
  • All non-professional players to receive loss of earnings documented from their employers
  • Goalkeeper coach to remain for campaign, not change from game to game.
  • Match fee for all international fixtures of €300
  • Bonus for competitive fixtures of €150 per win and €75 per draw
  • Qualification bonus to be agreed with team captain and player representatives at least four weeks prior to start of qualification campaign

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Talks continued until about 3am this morning.

In an early morning video statement, the PFAI said it was “pleased to announce, following lengthy negotiations through the night, a comprehensive agreement has been reached which addresses all of the issues raised by the Republic of Ireland women’s national team”.

The association also thanked trade union Siptu and members of the public for supporting “these inspirational women”.

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In a separate statement, the FAI said the discussions “were successfully resolved”.

Following the positive outcome to the mediation process the players confirmed that they will return to training today, in preparation for their international fixture against Slovakia on Monday at Tallaght Stadium.

“The Association is pleased that both sides have reached common agreement and a settlement, which allows the two parties to move forward together as one, in the best interests of Irish football.”

With reporting by Ryan Bailey 

Read: Women’s national team boycott training as they prepare for meeting with mediator over FAI row

Read: Opinion: ‘No interest in women’s football? Yesterday’s public reaction proves otherwise’

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Órla Ryan

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