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Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland when the decision was made to provide funding for soccer in Northern Ireland; and who made that decision. [103187]

Funding has been provided to soccer for many years. However on 7 February 2003, following advice from the Soccer Strategy Advisory Panel, I announced that the IFA's proposed Development Plan offered a sufficient basis for moving forward on the development of Soccer in Northern Ireland. I also made it clear that, before funding relating to the plan can be provided, I would require assurances that:

  • the IFA's proposals are ratified at its Annual General Meeting;
  • the governing body's new executive and accountability arrangements are in place; and
  • accountability requirements for Government funding, including implementation, monitoring and evaluation, are satisfied.