Ireland Players Lay Down Ultimatum

Thirteen of the senior squad held a press conference in Dublin yesterday, backed by the PFAI, who the FAI have apparently denied a place in the negotiations.

Aine O’Gorman said: “We are looking for the basics. In the past we have been getting changed in public toilets in the way to matches, this just highlights the lack of respect, it’s not a lot we are looking for, just the basics.”

“We are fighting for the future of women’s international football, this isn’t just about us,” said team captain Emma Byrne.

“I know players who have had to stop playing, they made the decision they couldn’t play any more and the problem we have is that the countries around us are progressing.”

O’Gorman said that the FAI’s attitude of players going public with their stance would “endanger their careers at club and international level” was seen as a threat.

The players are determined that the PFAI should be allowed to represent them in talks and if no progress was made, the match against Slovakia was in danger.

“There is a possibility that the game against Slovakia will not go ahead, the last thing the women’s international team want is to not play a game,” said PFAI official Stuart Gilhooly.

The FAI responded by defending its position, stating that they ‘agreed to a mediation process, yet the players have decided to progress regardless with a PFAI press conference, instead of meeting through an agreed mediator.’

‘Along with the core issues of Player representation and financial payments, the FAI has made considerable progress on matters outlined by the Players in their list of ‘Issues to be addressed’ last year.

‘The Senior Women’s National Team are provided the standards of care expected of a demanding high performance environment, with top level training facilities, hotel accommodation, dietary, fitness, performance analysis and medical and physio care.

‘The team has also received significant increases in budget in recent years to attain this high standard, as well as the appointment of a Champions League winning coach.

Although it appears the squad will not now be training on Wednesday, it seems there have been positive moves allowing talks to begin later today.

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