Culture Minister faces down IFA over reappointment of Martin…

Well, I have to say our ministers don’t have a lot of power to act effectively on their own, but Carál Ní Chuilín was adamant yesterday in the Assembly that her department was not going to back down over her refusal to allow funding to the Irish Football Association for the redevelopment of Windsor Park.

Why? This piece in the Belfast Telegraph explains:

At the centre of the row is one man, David Martin, who was elected deputy president of the Association last week. This row goes back to 2010 when DCAL said it could not release the promised £25m of funding while Mr Martin and the then President of the IFA remained in office. Both men stepped down.

But Mr Martin, who since then has failed three competency tests ordered by the government for IFA office-bearers, got back into office after the tests were dropped by the soccer body.

Many fans will wonder why the IFA dropped these tests which had been a precondition of funding. DCAL had asked for the tests over concerns about the association’s governance.[emphasis added]