15/09/2021

IFA Must Maintain Positive Relationship With 'Green And White Army' - DUP

The Irish Football Association (IFA) must prioritise maintaining a positive relationship "with the Green and White Army", the DUP's North Belfast MLA William Humphrey has said.

Mr Humphrey's made the comment ahead of a meeting between the IFA and the Amalgamation of Official Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs.

Mr Humphrey's said: "Fans are the life-blood of the game and must not be taken for granted. We have seen over the past fortnight how the return of fans to matches has helped spur our national team on to three positive results.
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"Fans have supported our national team through thick and thin, and many feel that long-term loyalty is not being recognised. There is widespread resentment towards the 'GAWA Official' scheme, which many view as a money-grab in the middle of a pandemic, for no obvious benefit.

"There is a need for greater transparency in IFA decision-making and we will continue to push for fans representatives to be given a meaningful place within that process."

East Antrim MLA David Hilditch added: "Northern Ireland home tickets are now among the most expensive in Europe. The recent charging of £52.50 per seat for the Switzerland game was outrageous and we would dispute IFA claims that this match sold out.

"Fans are also being hit with add-ons of up to £5 per ticket from Ticketmaster. We need to hear from the IFA that they are not exploiting our fan base and are striving to make match attendance affordable for people who are loyal and passionate members of the Green and White Army."

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