[Sinn Fein]

14th July 2002

Sky TV move would avert court clash over FAI soccer deal

Sinn Fein's Dáil spokesperson on Communications and the Media, Seán Crowe TD, has said that everyone will lose if the row over the live screening of Ireland's home international soccer matches ends up in a court battle involving the Government, the Football Association of Ireland and Sky TV.

The Dublin South-West TD said that the crisis could be solved ``by generosity and flexibility from Sky TV in the interests of the sporting public rather than holding out for private profit''. Deputy Crowe said:

``If the Government, the FAI and Sky end up in the courts in a massive legal battle then the only winners will be the lawyers.

``This crisis is now a test of Sky Sport's real commitment to what's good for football and the fans.

``Sky Television can resolve this mess by offering to be flexible, to renegotiate the contract and allow Ireland's home matches to be televised live to all Irish supporters.''

The Dublin South-West TD added: ``The FAI undoubtedly had good intentions in trying to get the best cash deal for developing the game at home, but in the process they have sold out the interests of Irish supporters at home.''

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