Rugby and soccer authorities must act quickly to realize Belfast’s vision

Alliance sports spokesperson Michael Long has called on rugby and soccer authorities in Northern Ireland to act quickly to ensure the construction of a new stadium and the participation of Belfast in the 2012 Olympic games.

The Castlereagh Councillor stated: “2012 offers a tremendous tourism and leisure opportunity for Belfast, with the UK hosting the Olympics alongside huge projects planned for the 100th anniversary of the Titanic. However, any further delay by rugby and soccer authorities on the new stadium would endanger this totally.

“I understand that some people feel that an out-of-town site is not perfect, but the reality is we get a stadium at Maze or no stadium at all. This offers the chance to bring Northern Ireland’s outdoor sports facilities up to match the best in the world, to bring in millions of

pounds of tourist revenue, and to take a positive place on the world stage. We cannot afford to miss that chance, but the Olympics are looming and we must act quickly.

“It seems that every time we in Northern Ireland are offered a great chance – such as hosting Olympic football – we go out of our way to dither and dally rather than grab it with both hands. Nobody will lose out but ourselves.

“The GAA has already given its support to the new ground, now all that is required is for the IRFU and IFA to follow suit on behalf of their sports. It is a no-brainer and we cannot afford to lose another second.”


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