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The Emerald Isle Classic will feature University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish versus Navy in an American Football match played out at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. The event is expected to draw tens of thousands of tourists to Ireland, and create a major boost for tourism. Photo by: NDNA logo

Irish American Football Association responds to Navy charges of forced payments

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The Emerald Isle Classic will feature University of Notre Dame's Fighting Irish versus Navy in an American Football match played out at Dublin's Aviva Stadium. The event is expected to draw tens of thousands of tourists to Ireland, and create a major boost for tourism. Photo by: NDNA logo

Shortly afterwards, the IAFA’s solicitors wrote to Navy seeking compliance with the contract. This led to the scheduling of formal settlement talks which took place on 10th July 2012. The settlement talks ended when Navy Associate Athletic Director Robb Dunn prematurely left the room. The IAFA has since formally asked for the matter to be referred to mediation, however Navy has refused.

Arguments put forward by Navy and the promoter include reference to International Federation of American Football (IFAF) Statutes concerning the sanctioning of International games which both IFAF and the IAFA agree have no relevance to the Emerald Isle Classic game.

Over the past few days, there have been ongoing processes, however, Navy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk’s ill-judged remarks to the media over the past weekend have scuppered any chance of an amicable agreement.

On Monday 27th August, the IAFA Board unanimously agreed to commence legal action aimed at ensuring that the agreed conditions, primarily the development conditions, are adhered to by the event organizers – the aim being to ensure that the sport in Ireland does benefit from the event. This legal action should not have any impact on the playing of the fixture. The IAFA hopes that all the visiting fans and the Notre Dame team enjoy their stay in Ireland.

Contrary to some media reports, Navy has not made any efforts to accommodate the IAFA at Saturday’s game. As things stand, they are not invited and consequently will not have a presence. Some IAFA volunteers who have purchased tickets are saying that they do not feel comfortable attending an event where they are clearly not welcome. The hosting of the Emerald Isle Classic is doing absolutely nothing to assist with the local development of the sport.

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