Stephanie Roche's comments unveil the heartbreak the women's team are going through 5 years ago

Stephanie Roche's comments unveil the heartbreak the women's team are going through

For any young footballer, what is the ultimate goal?

Representing your country on the international stage.

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So the current controversy surrounding the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the women's national team is a painful reminder of the gap which exists between the men and women's game.

Now, there is a difference between the popularity of the two and as a result there will be a contrast between the funding, resources and money available to fund both teams.

No one is disputing that, it's reality.

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However, there is one thing that needs to be reiterated and emphasised.

And that is respect.

When you look at some of the issues which the women's national team say that need to be addressed, it doesn't paint a pretty picture for the sport's governing body.

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Credit: Marie Crowe/Twitter

You would expect that issues such as gym membership, match fees, player allowances and retainment of one's tracksuit would be the minimum that you would expect with a senior international team, regardless of the gender involved.

The FAI released their own statement in response to today's press conference where they outlined their disappointment with regards to the players' actions.

They also rebutted some of the claims made about the players and emphasised that progress that has been made regarding their concerns but that the players and the PFAI have refused on more than one occasion to engage in mediating talks.

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Stephanie Roche spoke to Sky Sports today where she admitted that today's actions were the last straw.

"For us, this is the last straw," Roche told Sky Sports. 

"The last thing we want to do as footballers and as a team is have to threaten to strike.

"We tried to speak to the FAI behind the scenes two years ago so this is an ongoing issue for us as a team. It's an ongoing situation we feel hasn't been resolved and today we had to go public with it."

If the issues are not resolved, Roche and her teammates will not play in their scheduled friendly against Slovakia on Monday.

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Roche reiterates that this is the last thing that herself and her teammates want to be doing.

They love the game.

They love representing their country.

But they feel that they have no choice but to go to drastic measures to get what they deserve.

"We really don't want to strike. We want to be back in training with our coach, which is supposed to be tomorrow, and we hope it can be resolved by then.

"We want to play for our country we just want the FAI to negotiate with the PFAI on our behalf so that we can get back to doing what we do best, which is playing for our country and trying to push forward for World Cup qualification."

For everyone involved, let's hope that the situation is resolved as quickly as possible so that the players can get back to doing what they love and that's representing their county with pride.