30/10/2001

McGimpsey publishes soccer report

Michael McGimpsey has published for consultation, the report of his Soccer Advisory Panel, which contains recommendations for the future of football in Northern Ireland.

Launching the document the Culture, Arts and Leisure Minister said: “This very comprehensive Report represents the views of the Panel I established to advise me on how best to help secure a healthy future for the game in Northern Ireland. The Chairman, Billy Hamilton, his team and others, have all willingly volunteered and devoted a considerable amount of their time to this initiative and I want to place on record my sincere thanks for the enthusiastic and dedicated manner in which they approached and carried out this task.

“Over 150 recommendations are contained in the Report and are based on all the evidence the Panel has amassed over the last twelve months. In keeping with the open and transparent approach I have insisted on for this whole exercise, I now want the people to have their say on the contents of this very important Report.

“I am therefore inviting everyone with an interest in any aspect of the game – from grassroots level right through to international level, including players, supporters, officials and administrators – to let me know what they think of the proposals which have been put forward.

“This consultation period will run until 28 December 2001 and comments should be sent to my Department either by letter or by Email. I will certainly listen to the views expressed and will, as far as possible, reflect them in my strategy for the future of the game which I will publish in due course.”

Mr McGimpsey pointed out that the proposals touched on all aspects of football including its overall governance and administration, the league structures, the kick off times, youth development, the role of supporters, women’s football, players and referees, as well as facilities. (GB)

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