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Basketball Ireland accuse government of "double standards" over FAI package

Basketball Ireland has accused the government of "double standards" over the 30-million Euro financial rescue package given to the FAI.

Irish basketball's governing body was fined when they racked up one-point-five-million Euro in debts in 2008 and were denied Capital Sports Programme funding for five years.

It resulted in job losses and a suspension of the international programme as well as levies on members.

“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," reads a statement from Basketball Ireland.

They also say "a similar agreement" to that afforded to the FAI would have "changed the trajectory" of Basketball Ireland.

"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.

“In 2008, when Basketball Ireland ran into financial difficulties, we found ourselves with an unexpected black hole of debt and financial penalties totalling €1.5 million. At our darkest time, a similar agreement to that which was awarded last week would have considerably changed the trajectory of Basketball Ireland, and would have proven to be a lifeline.

“Instead, the organisation entered a difficult period with no financial assistance and was forced to call an immediate halt to our international team programmes, thus damaging the career prospects of a large number of underage players.

The Government imposed a significant fine on us, which served to worsen our financial position. A significant grant, which had been approved for the refurbishment of the National Basketball Arena, was abruptly withdrawn and never reinstated.”

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