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Alleged treatment of Irish women’s football team ‘unacceptable’ – Boylan

5 April, 2017 - by Senator Lynn Boylan

Speaking from Strasbourg last night, Sinn Féin MEP Lynn Boylan has stated that the alleged treatment of the Irish senior women’s football team is utterly unacceptable and disappointing in the extreme.

MEP Boylan said:

“What we heard today at the Irish women's national team press conference at Liberty Hall can be categorised in many ways, but to me how they outlined they have been treated is completely outrageous.

“For these women to be treated as ‘fifth class citizens’ by the FAI, as it was claimed, and to be forced to the point where they believe a strike is the best recourse of action is an unacceptable state of affairs.

“I’m sure Irish football supporters and the general public were equally appalled by what they heard today. The idea that a representative of a senior international football team would have to share a team tracksuit and change in toilets at airports after being given a ‘loan’ of said tracksuit, as was claimed, is both infuriating and heart breaking. 

“These women are role models to thousands of people around the country, in particular to young girls who dream of playing football for Ireland, yet today they see these athletes having to fight for the future of women’s international football, as team captain Emma Byrne said.

“Only a few short weeks ago, the European parliament passed a ‘Report on an integrated approach to Sport Policy: good governance, accessibility and integrity’. I would implore the FAI, and Minister for Sport Shane Ross, to read it, and to pay particular attention to point 43:

“Believes that an integrated approach to gender equality in sports can help avoid stereotypes and create a positive social environment for all; welcomes initiatives that encourage gender equality and equal participation in decision- making roles in sports, enable female athletes to reconcile their family and professional sport life, and seek to reduce gender-based remuneration gap and award disparities, as well as any kind of stereotypes and harassment in sports; calls on sports organisations to pay particular attention to the gender dimension by encouraging  women participation in sports.” 

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