Developing football in the Republic of Ireland
The Republic of Ireland have qualified for three of the last seven FIFA World Cup finals, the highlight being a quarter-final appearance in Italy in 1990.
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The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) vision is to use football to inspire the nation and connect communities, and to enrich the lives of all through positive football experiences. Core strategic aims are to transform football facilities and infrastructures, drive grassroots football as the heart of the game, nurture football pathways for all, develop the full potential of football for women and girls, frame the future of the domestic League of Ireland and build for international success.
At last count, the FAI oversaw 75 leagues, including 39 that offer women’s and/or girls football. Ireland had 1,186 grassroots clubs, of whom 530 offer football to women and girls, while 190 Football For All clubs operate under the FAI umbrella. Over 80,000 volunteers are engaged in football in the Republic of Ireland, with over 11,000 of them working as coaches.
Developing the full potential of football for women and girls is a core pillar of the FAI’s strategy, and the association is fully committed to increasing participation levels across all levels of the female game, developing and launching new programmes, and building on the recent announcement of equal pay for senior women and men’s international teams.
“As the biggest participation sport in Ireland, we are proud of the impact our game makes in every community across the country and we look forward to driving participation numbers, improving pathways for our players and coaches, increasing the number of volunteers throughout our sport and offering women and girls equal opportunity to enjoy and embrace their love of football as players, coaches, officials and volunteers.”
Jonathan Hill, FAI chief executive
UEFA HatTrick funding is helping the FAI to maintain its programmes to grow football across Ireland, and also to support the workings of the association across international participation, coach development, elite academy structures and player pathways, referee training and UEFA Referee Convention implementation, club licencing across the League of Ireland and grassroots funding.
UEFA has also helped to feed a demand for top-class, full-sized, all-weather pitches and associated clubhouses in Ireland as part of a nationwide drive to improve facilities and increase the accessibility to the game.
UEFA Foundation for Children
Set up in 2015, the UEFA foundation uses football as a vehicle to help improve children's lives by supporting hundreds of campaigns and projects across Europe and around the world.
Youth in Action
The project’s mission is to tackle racism in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and promote community cohesion and the integration of ethnic minority and migrant communities through sports and education.
The programme aims to promote inclusion and friendship and tackle racism by working with young people, ethnic minority representative groups and refugees and asylum seekers housed in local communities. Young people will be given the opportunity to share experiences, cultural values and interests. Education programmes will use football and football culture as a pathway to explore the themes of race and racism.
National team history
Date of birth: 28 June 1958
Association president since: 2020
Date of birth: 20 November 1962
Association CEO since: 2020