The Government will double its funding and give the FAI an interest free loan of €2.5 million annually for the next three years as part of a refinancing arrangement to help save the organisation.

With debts of €62m, the FAI desperately needed an immediate cash injection to continue to trade.

Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State Brendan Griffin met representatives from UEFA, the FAI, and the Bank of Ireland at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport earlier to thrash out a plan to ensure the association remains as a going concern.

UEFA and Bank of Ireland will also contribute. 

Sport Ireland funding has been restored and will double from €2.9m to €5.8m a year until 2023.

State finance had been suspended since last April after details emerged of a €100,000 loan by then-CEO John Delaney to the association.

A sum of €800,000 of that will go towards the development of the men's and women’s domestic leagues.

The Government will also provide an interest-free loan of €2.5m each year from 2020-2022 to protect the Aviva Stadium. 

It will be payable directly to the stadium operations company, and will be repayable from 2024 onwards.

Bank of Ireland are set to be announced as a major sponsor of the FAI, as well as holding the mortgage for the stadium. More positive announcements are expected in the coming days.

Ireland is due to host four games at the Lansdowne Road venue in this summer Euro 2020 tournament. 

Up to now, UEFA has been supporting the FAI with advance payment of TV revenue.

The FAI board has welcomed the agreement with the Government, UEFA and Bank of Ireland on the joint plan to safeguard the future of Irish football.

FAI Independent Chairperson Roy Barrett said: "This agreement is vital for Irish football and allows us to take the first steps in the rebirth of our sport.

"The supportive approach of each of the stakeholders - Government, UEFA and Bank of Ireland - ensured that everybody came to try and solve the problem.  

"The restructuring of the board represented a change that the stakeholders wanted to see and it was part of the whole government review that changed the whole dynamic of the discussions.   

"We can now progress with our plans to restructure and rebuild the Association and do what is best for our staff, our players and all our stakeholders with minimum disruption for Irish football.

"On behalf of the Board and the Association, I would like to thank all our partners for their support and their commitment to the future of our game and we look forward to working with them, our staff and our stakeholders to bring this plan to fruition."

Minister for Sport Shane Ross denied that the deal amounts to a bailout or political interference.

Speaking after today's meeting Mr Ross said the refinancing package would see everybody sharing the burden for the good of Irish football.

Mr Ross said this loan would be conditional on certain corporate governance measures and on the grassroots "being looked after and properly catered for."

Welcoming the news FAI President Gerry McAnaney, elected to the role last Saturday, said: "I wish to offer my sincere congratulations to our Independent Chairperson and his team on reaching an agreement with the Government and other important stakeholders.

"Today's agreement will ensure the survival of football in Ireland. As an organisation, we must now remain focused on the fact that failure to reach today's historic agreement would have placed the FAI in extreme peril.

"Once again, I would like to thank Ministers Ross and Griffin for their continued support for football in Ireland."