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"It's not a contest" | Niall Quinn on Basketball Ireland funding criticism

Stephen Doyle
Stephen Doyle

15:36 5 Feb 2020

FAI Interim Deputy CEO Niall Quinn has offered an invitation to Bernard O'Byrne in an attempt to help increase funding for all Irish sporting bodies.

The Basketball Ireland CEO has expressed anger with the government after they announced a rescue package for the FAI which had debts in excess of €62 million.

O'Byrne clarified to OTB AM on Wednesday that "there is no antipathy" between the two associations and today Quinn was eager to build on the friendship between them.

"I believe it's not a contest," said Quinn. "I believe basketball, ourselves and all the other sports that are doing great things in this country should come together and have a lobby to get even more funding.

"I absolutely believe Basketball [Ireland] should get more money and I know they got treated very harshly way back when the [European] troika was in town.

"It was a different landscape then. The country was on its knees when all that happened but I would be the first one to support anything they would put in place to drive for more funding. I would do it for all sports."

Quinn has also suggested setting up a meeting with the Basketball Ireland chief in order to share information and to try and get a better deal from the Irish government.

"There is no more us and them," said Quinn.

"I believe all our sports should have a forum. We should get together. We should power home the ability and the value of all sports in this country and get a better deal from [the] government all around.

"If Bernard wants to come and see how we did things or if somebody else is doing stuff, that we could all share our knowledge and come at the political leaders, who are talking a great game at the moment.

"We were fortunate to get support at this time but at the same time, there is far more to be understood about sport and to be gained by government support.

"And if Basketball Ireland get a big increase in funding, they'll get a pat on the back from me, 'well done, you deserve it'."

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