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Last Updated: Friday, 20 January 2006, 07:42 GMT
IFA 'backs Maze stadium' proposal
Plan includes a new 55m multi-sports stadium
Plan includes a new 55m multi-sports stadium
NI football authorities have voted in principle to support a new multi-sports stadium on the former Maze prison site.

The Irish Football Association met in Belfast after being told by Sports Minister David Hanson that he needed a decision before the end of January.

The government wants the 42,000 seater stadium to be used for major football, rugby and gaelic games.

IFA Chief Executive Howard Wells said the decision was in the best interests of football in the province.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: "Obviously we are trying to deliver things that are in the best interests of football.

"There is a lot of emotion. The real issue is that there is a period of time when we will have to work with the other sports and government to work out a business plan which suits football."

Feasibility study

Councillors in Belfast had appealed to the IFA to defer its vote as they hope the stadium will be located in the city.

In March, the government said the Maze site near Lisburn was the only viable location for the new stadium.

Two alternatives to the proposed national stadium at the former Maze Prison site were last year dismissed by Mr Hanson.

Supporters of rival plans for Maysfield and Ormeau Park in Belfast said the Maze site would lack facilities.

The developers behind the Ormeau Park proposal said the feasibility study was complete and would be presented to council members on 23 January.

IFA decision 'keeps options open'
20 Jan 06 |  Northern Ireland
Maze site 'approved' for stadium
30 Mar 05 |  Northern Ireland
Stadium proposal for former jail
25 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Maze could become leisure mecca
23 Feb 05 |  Northern Ireland
Three contenders for NI stadium
20 Jan 05 |  Northern Ireland
NI stadium 'needs support'
24 May 04 |  Northern Ireland

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