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Former Alliance MLA Chris Lyttle appointed Irish Football Association’s head of public affairs


Former Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle

Former Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle

Former Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle

The former Alliance Party MLA Chris Lyttle has been appointed as the Irish Football Association’s first ever head of public affairs.

The former east Belfast politician served in Stormont from 2010 until 2022, announcing in October last year he would not be contesting the recent Assembly election last month.

Mr Lyttle will take up his new role in the IFA in July, with his role involving managing the organisation’s relationship with government, alongside working within their communications team.

The qualified UEFA B Licence football coach was also chairman of the Education Committee at Stormont between 2020 and 2022 and sat as deputy chairman of the all-party Assembly group on sport.

He said joining the IFA was an “exciting privilege”.

“Football, from grassroots to the men's, women's and disability national teams, is transforming Northern Ireland for the better,” Mr Lyttle added.

“The game is contributing to better physical and mental health, improved educational outcomes and a shared and safer community, and with the support and partnership of government and business can achieve even more.

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“There are exciting opportunities that a restored Northern Ireland Executive must grasp particularly for women and girls by supporting the Northern Ireland team at the Women’s Euros next month and delivering the long overdue football stadia funding that will help clubs across Northern Ireland to be community hubs and support our bid to host Euro 2028 games in Northern Ireland.

After announcing his departure from politics, Naomi Long said it was “sad” to lose Mr Lyttle from front line politics but confirmed he would remain an “active member” of the party in east Belfast.

Irish FA chief executive Patrick Nelson said: “Chris’s government experience and football credentials make him the perfect fit for this new role.

“I am confident he will help us further our links with key groups and individuals from our political stakeholders both here in Northern Ireland and further afield, too.

“He will join an experienced and welcoming staff team who will ensure he hits the ground running.”

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