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Irish FA Foundation

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For the past 137 years, the Irish Football Association has organised, promoted and developed football. It has discovered some of the greatest talents to ever play the game, helped make history in major tournaments on the world stage and perhaps most important of all, engendered a life-long love of football in generations of men and women.

The Irish FA Foundation is the charitable arm of the Irish FA and exists to further equip the association to foster and grow the sport.

The Foundation has four main aims:

  • Develop amateur football, youth football, schools football and futsal.
  • Advance education by providing work experience and support to educational establishments and extra-curricular groups 
  • To provide funds and football facilities in areas in areas of economic need with the object of improving circumstances 
  • To improve the health and wellbeing of people in Northern Ireland through football 



What are the Irish FA's aims in 2020?

Michael Boyd - Director of Football Development

"In 2020 the Irish FA Foundation will use the UEFA Social Return on Investment findings to grow its new Ahead of the Game mental health and Stay Onside crime prevention programme.

Hundreds of clubs will benefit from more than 40 free mental health workshops across Northern Ireland as well as growing our rehabilitation work in prisons with more than 100 Prisoners on an annual basis.

In 2020 we shall work in partnership with Ashfield Boys’ High School, Boys Model and Laurelhill Community College to set up new development partnerships which see football specific BTECs being delivered and providing work experience for students in the football industry. 

We will also establish our Irish FA Foundation as a trusted delivery partner for Government departments and agencies to promote physical activity, mental health, crime prevention, social cohesion and employability.

In 2020 we shall further work with councils to develop Community Football Hubs across Northern Ireland, promoting football for all. 

Priority themes in 2020 shall be mental health, girl’s participation, crime prevention, education and people & clubs’ development. 

We shall develop new partnership opportunities with groups such as the Community Foundation Northern Ireland which allows us to support inclusive clubs more strategically. Our participation target for 2025 remains to have 100,000 young people playing football on a regular basis. In order to achieve this ambitious target, we need to strategically continue to grow the girl’s game as a top priority to deliver the Irish FA’s Girls and Women’s Plan across Northern Ireland.

The Irish FA Foundation shall continue to promote football for all adopting an inclusive approach so that all members of the community have access to our initiatives, regardless of background, gender, religion, politics, race or sexual orientation. 

In order to cement our commitment to creating a fun, safe and inclusive culture throughout the game we shall work on developing a new safeguarding plan for the game of football across Northern Ireland."