Republic of Ireland women's team reach agreement over threat to strike

Emma Byrne has played over 100 times for the Republic women's team
Captain Emma Byrne said the players were fighting for the future of women's football in Ireland

The Republic of Ireland women's team have reached an agreement with their national association after a threat to strike over poor treatment.

Players said the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) treated them "like dirt on its shoe" and they would refuse to train if conditions did not improve.

The FAI invited them to a meeting on Wednesday, and on Thursday morning said a "successful conclusion"external-link was reached.

The players will now return to training for Monday's home game with Slovakia.

At 04:18 BST on Thursday, captain and goalkeeper Emma Byrne tweeted:external-link "Long night, tough going, finally both sides came to an agreement! Victory! Thank you for all your support. It proves unity is a powerful force."

Striker Stephanie Roche wrote:external-link "Happy to have finally come to an agreement after a long night. Big thanks to everyone who showed their support on all this."

The players had been fighting for improved resources, and compensation from the FAI for lost earnings while on international duty.

There were also calls for match fees of 300 euros, bonuses of 150 euros for a win and 75 euros for a draw, gym membership for the squad and the provision of team clothing.

They had indicated that they would refuse to train on Wednesday if talks were not held.

The Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland, speaking on behalf of the players, said "a comprehensive agreement has been reached which addresses all of the issues raised".

"What we want is for the FAI to empower and enable our players to commit to training camps and international games without having to worry about taking unpaid leave from work or being forced to use up all of their holidays," said Byrne on Tuesday.

"We are fighting for the future of women's international football. This isn't just about us," she added at a news conference in Dublin.

Stephanie Roche, Aine O'Gorman and Emma Byrne (front row) with members of the Republic of Ireland women's squad
There was a large turnout of players at Tuesday's news conference in Dublin

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