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'Sporting organisations shouldn’t have to take the fall for government failures' - Sinn Féin

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Ireland have confirmed they are in discussions around the latest Covid-19 guidelines.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SPORTING ORGANISATIONS are taking the fall for government failures, according to Sinn Féin spokesperson on Sport Chris Andrews.

The party have raised concerns over the lack of clarity for sporting organisations following the government’s announcement of further Covid-19 restrictions yesterday.

Dublin Bay South TD Andrews said: “Yesterday’s announcement by the Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, and the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has been followed by confusion and frustration by so many involved in sporting organisations across the state.

“Many GAA, soccer, rugby clubs, and other sporting organisations, are confused by the lack of clarity.

“They do not understand why we can’t have spectators, regardless of the size of the open air stadiums, while at the same time many issues, such as those affecting meat factories and Direct Provision centres, long identified as settings of great concern, have not been addressed.

“Sporting organisations across the state play an integral part in our lives, our communities and our well-being.

“The sporting community should be treated on an equal footing as any other sector in our economy. Sporting organisations cannot be treated as second class in our society.

“Last night’s decision by the Government and NPHET was based on scientific evidence, but such evidence and findings must be communicated with the public to allow for a greater understanding and buy-in to such decisions.

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“I’m calling on the Taoiseach, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport to bring clarity to the public as a matter of urgency. It is more important now than ever that the opposition is briefed on further restrictions being introduced.

“Testing and tracing need to be ramped up significantly, and the issues of congregated settings such as meat plants and Direct Provision centres addresses. Sporting organisations shouldn’t have to take the fall for government failures.”

Meanwhile, the Football Association of Ireland have confirmed they are in discussions with Government agencies around the latest Covid-19 guidelines and how they affect football at all levels.

Part of a statement from the organisation read: “As soon as the Government has updated the association on a number of issues, we will communicate a revised Safer Return to Training and Safer Return to Play Protocols.

“We again ask all stakeholders to remain aware of their personal responsibility in the battle against Covid-19.”

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