Basketball Ireland, the governing body of basketball in the country of Ireland, has brought to question the Irish Government’s emergency funding package that was recently gifted to the FAI and is currently awaiting a meeting aimed at solving disagreements over the unfair distribution of funding and administration issues.
Recently, the Irish Government announced that it would be nearly doubling the Football Association Ireland’s funding in addition to providing them with an interest free loan of 2.5m annually for the coming three years to help keep the organization from falling under.
With the FAI owing debts of over 60m, the FAI needed the money immediately to continue functioning and to prevent a complete shutdown.
In a publicized statement, Basketball Ireland points out the fact that they were treated significantly different than the FAI during their time of financial struggle.
“The basketball community in Ireland has been following with interest the announcement surrounding another major sports body, which has benefited from a funding agreement in recent days to allow it time and resources to recover from financial difficulties.
“While we wish those involved in that sport the very best in navigating their way through what will undoubtedly be a difficult few years to come, the Board wishes to express the frustration of many basketball enthusiasts in our 300,000+ strong community, as it would appear that double standards may be at play for sports that fall outside what are considered the popular sports.”
Dating back to 2008, Basketball Ireland faced its own financial crisis and they found themselves in a similar predicament with debts and penalties adding up to 1.5m
Basketball Ireland then faced difficult period with no financial assistance and they subsequently were required to put a pause on Irelands international basketball programme. This lack of assistance had a damaging effect on players careers as well as employees.
While basketball has been increasing in popularity as a sport in Ireland, it still does not receive the nationwide popularity that Football or Rugby does.
To understand basketball culture in Ireland, listen to exclusive interview with Irish U16 Women’s Basketball coach Ian Lynch. Not only has this Dublin native coached on a national level but he has also competed in Ireland’s Super League as a player for Eanna BC.