Rugby: IRFU to get 18 million euros bailout from government

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(Reuters) - The Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) will receive an 18 million euros (16.2 million pounds) emergency funding package from the government to help soften the financial blow from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The IRFU's annual reports it recorded a 35.7 million euros deficit for the 15 months to end-July.

"The funding announced by the government and Sport Ireland is critical for the IRFU to keep rugby activities at all levels of our sport going for now," IRFU Chief Executive Philip Browne said in a statement.

"Irish Rugby is in a perilous financial position as a result of COVID-19... We are very grateful for the ongoing support shown to us by government and Sport Ireland throughout this pandemic."

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford)