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IFA should pump Euros money back into local game

I notice with interest that the £10m the IFA will receive from reaching the Euro 2016 championship will be spent on a bonus scheme for the team, projects to help future Northern Ireland teams and expenses during the Uefa competition.

No mention of local football, which has been neglected by the association for many years and seen by many as the poor relation of football in this country. One Premier League club has been unable to play at their ground since November because of drainage problems and other clubs are facing a backlog of postponed winter matches, which will prolong their season well into the summer months.

Good turf maintenance should be a prerequisite for any outdoor sport, but most clubs require the investment in dealing with just the basics, such as drainage.

Also, it seems every week that the media, instead of concentrating on match reports, are forced to pinpoint the poor quality of refereeing at our matches.

Journalists and those knowledgeable of the game concede that the standard is at crisis point - just two issues which the IFA needs to address and re-direct additional resources into. Many of our international players, who are going to France in June, learned their trade in the Irish League and I think the IFA need to take a few million of this money and play a more proactive role in the promotion of our local game.



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