SIPTU has demanded that the livelihoods of workers employed by the FAI are not used as a ‘political football’ in the worsening crisis in the Association resulting from the Sport Ireland decision to withhold funding for the organisation. SIPTU Sport Sector Organiser, Denis Hynes, said: “We wrote to the Sport Ireland CEO, John Treacy, last night (Tuesday, 9th April) looking for an urgent meeting to discuss the impact of the decision to withhold funding to the FAI. Our members are justifiably concerned that this blanket withdrawal of funding could have a devastating impact on their livelihoods and on soccer in every community throughout Ireland. “There are more than 50 SIPTU members, working as development officers, currently directly employed at the FAI. They work in communities across the country to improve the game at a grassroots level.”   He added: “Our members are seeking assurances concerning how community level football will be developed and maintained throughout this extremely testing period for senior management in the Association. What we don’t want is workers, who train and mentor men, women, boys and girls, used as political footballs in a worsening crisis that they had no role in bringing about.” SIPTU represents staff employed as development officers, coaches and in the administration of the FAI as well as players through its affiliation with the PFAI.