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Republic of ireland women's national football team

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The Republic of Ireland women's national football team represents the Republic of Ireland in competitions such as the FIFA Women's World Cup and the UEFA Women's Championship. The Republic of Ireland has yet to qualify for a major tournament. It has, however, taken part in invitational tournaments such as the Algarve Cup, the Istria Cup and the Cyprus Cup. It is organised by the Women's Football Association of Ireland.

In 1973, the Women's Football Association of Ireland was established[2] and in the same year on 13 May the Republic of Ireland made their official international debut, Paula Gorham's hat-trick securing a 3–2 win in an away friendly game against Wales.[3] They made their competitive debut on 19 September 1982 in a 1984 European Competition for Women's Football qualifier, also against Scotland. This time the Republic of Ireland lost just 3–0. On 2 October 1982 the Republic of Ireland gained their first competitive win when they defeated Northern Ireland 2–1 in an away game in the same competition. After losing 10–0 to Sweden in a Euro 1993 qualifier, the FAI did not enter a team in the 1995 competition.[4] This defeat against Sweden remains the team's biggest defeat.

During the 2000s the Republic of Ireland enjoyed some minor successes. In 2000 they won the Celt Cup – a four team tournament that also featured Northern Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.[5] In their 2005 UEFA Women's Euro campaign they also won their second level group, finishing above Romania, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Malta. This would have secured promotion to the elite group of nations which competed directly for qualification to major tournaments, had the two level system not been scrapped for the next qualifying campaign. The Republic of Ireland also won their group at the 2013 Cyprus Cup, finishing above South Korea, South Africa and Northern Ireland.

The Republic of Ireland has also enjoyed some success at both under–17 and under–19 levels. In 2010, with a team that included Megan Campbell, Ciara Grant, Dora Gorman, Denise O'Sullivan, Siobhán Killeen and Clare Shine, the Republic of Ireland U-17 squad were runners-up in the 2010 UEFA Women's Under-17 Championship and quarter-finalists in the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup.[6] In the UEFA championship semi-final the Republic of Ireland defeated Germany 1–0.[7] With a team that included Megan Connolly, Savannah McCarthy and Katie McCabe the Republic of Ireland team won their group at the 2014 UEFA Women's Under-19 Championship and qualified for the semi-finals.[8]

In April 2017, the squad demanded better treatment from the FAI and threatened to boycott a home match against Slovakia.[9] They wanted a higher match fee, and broken time payment for amateurs missing work.[9] They claimed that they had to share with underage teams the tracksuits they wore travelling to and from away matches, and change out of them in airport toilets.[9] The boycott threat was lifted when agreement on improvements was reached.[10]

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