Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O'Brien has defended Minster Shane Ross' decision to give information on the amount of money the FAI were seeking from the Government as part of a bailout.

The Association released a statement last night, saying the €18m figure was confidential and has only made it more difficult to secure a rescue deal  

Speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke, O’Brien said: "I think the Minister was correct to put the figure on the record, given the fact it is taxpayer’s money they were looking for.

"Without putting that figure out during the Oireachtas Committee meeting yesterday, we wouldn’t have a sense of how precarious the situation is.

"I don’t see it being an issue. The FAI obviously do. But the job of refinancing was really difficult anyway and I don’t think the Minister has added to that."

Mr O'Brien said everyone must agree the FAI cannot be liquidated and if everyone approaches the problem from that position, then the League, national teams and football will be protected.

In order for this to happen, he said, people must be realistic and this meant the government cannot simply refuse to offer financial assistance and the FAI cannot remain secretive.

He said that Minister Ross has said the FAI does not have a realistic business plan but as no one else knows what that plan is, no one else can make an informed opinion on this.

O'Brien said he would like UEFA to give an assurance that clubs and the national team will not be penalised if the FAI does go into examinership.

He added that he would like some sort of guarantee to be given that UEFA money, due to teams in February, is given to the clubs directly, or, if it is paid to the FAI that there will be no delay in passing the money onto clubs.

Fergus O'Dowd, chairman of Oireachtas Sport Committee, agreed that the FAI cannot be allowed to fail and we "have to save soccer."

O'Dowd said everyone wants to make sure that the Irish team and League of Ireland continue.

He concluded that the situation was difficult because independent directors haven't committed to coming on board but that "new leadership is where it's at."