Belfast Telegraph

Put the past behind us urge IFA supporters

By Chris Holt

The Association of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs (AONISC) have called for the ‘football family’ to sit down and talk in a bid to bring an end to the turmoil that has beset the local game.

After months of madness at the Irish FA, leading to president Raymond Kennedy, and three other board members quitting, the fans’ group say the time has come for all those involved to come together and overcome the problems that at one point threatened to pull the plug on crucial public cash being handed over.

“Public confidence in the Irish Football Association is surely at one of its lowest points,” read an AONISC statement.

“Events of recent weeks and months have reduced the governing body to almost farcical proportions, the negative coverage overshadowing much of the good work that is being done at all levels of Northern Ireland football. Anyone with an interest in the local game will no doubt share our very deep concern that the Irish FA football appears to be in total and utter disarray.

“Firstly, it is important that the various strands of Northern Irish football try to find common ground and look at ways of finding agreement and compromise, for the betterment of the game.

The DCAL Minister has suggested an independent review of the IFA, and we believe that anything which can bring forward meaningful proposals that deliver positive and real change for Northern Ireland football deserve consideration and support.”

It added: “We often hear of the ‘football family’. All families have disagreements at some point, this one needs to sit down and talk its problems through.

“As a key stakeholder in Northern Ireland football, the AONISC is willing to make a positive contribution to any initiative or effort that will help to deliver real and meaningful improvements to football in this country.”

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