Northern Ireland

Foyle Cup: Youth football tournament's funding cut by 50%

Hundreds of young footballers took part in Foyle Cup events last year
Image caption Hundreds of young footballers took part in Foyle Cup events last year

Funding for this year's Foyle Cup youth football tournament has been cut by 50% by Tourism Northern Ireland.

The competition, based in the north west of Northern Ireland, is aimed at teenagers and has grown in popularity over the years.

Its organisers estimate it is worth almost £2m to the local economy.

Ex-Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez said the cutbacks, in the same year that Northern Ireland qualified for the Euro finals, is disappointing.

"With Northern Ireland obviously in the Europeans this summer you would want a competition like the Foyle Cup to be growing and ever expanding and to find it financially cut at this moment in time seems like a bit of an absurdity," he said.

The grant the competition receives from Tourism NI has been cut from £20,000 to £10,000.

The organisers said the cut means the tournament will not be able to attract the same calibre of teams from abroad as in previous years.

A Tourism NI spokesperson said the majority of applicants seeking grants this year received less than they applied for.

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