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FAI says it is taking 'urgent steps to address its current governance and financial issues'

Journal.ie logo Journal.ie 14/04/2019 Aaron Gallagher

a man wearing a suit and tie: FAI Executive Vice-President John Delaney. © Gary Carr INPHO FAI Executive Vice-President John Delaney. THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION of Ireland said it is taking urgent steps to address its current governance and financial issues as the governing body comes under increasing pressure.

The FAI released a statement on Sunday evening addressing comments made by Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport Shane Ross, who raised the prospect of State capital funding being withheld from the FAI.

An FAI statement said: “The Board of the Football Association of Ireland notes the comments made today by the Minister for Tourism, Transport and Sport, Shane Ross, and by Deputy Fergus O’Dowd, chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport.

“The Association wishes to assure all parties that it is taking many urgent steps to address its current governance and financial issues. The Board of the Association will meet again tomorrow to review these steps.

“The FAI has also commissioned the financial firm Mazars to undertake an independent review and the Board will move as quickly as possible to adopt any recommendations of corrective action necessary.”

Sport Ireland decided to suspend and withhold future funding to the FAI this week. The FAI said it is engaging with Sport Ireland on the composition of a new governance committee with additional independent members and the appointment of an independent person to the committee of the board examining the current issues.

a man wearing a suit and tie: CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy. © Morgan Treacy CEO of Sport Ireland John Treacy. The Association also said it plans a root and branch review including of its rules and processes.

The statement added: “The FAI has offered Sport Ireland the opportunity to assure itself that all government funding provided to the FAI was and continues to be used in the appropriate manner.

“The Association continues to work to restore the trust of its stakeholders including the Minister and Sport Ireland as soon as possible. The FAI wants to ensure that all those who play football across Ireland do not suffer as a result of the actions of the Association.

“The Board of the FAI acknowledges that the €2.7million funding Sport Ireland provides to the FAI and the Sports Capital Grants, also funded by the taxpayer, are crucial to football and every step will be taken to ensure these continue at the earliest time possible.

“In response to Deputy O’Dowd’s comments, the FAI confirms it had undertaken to come back to the Oireachtas Committee regarding information they had sought during the hearing last Wednesday evening. As stated on Friday, the FAI has researched that information and will respond to the Committee by close of business tomorrow.”

Sunday’s statement failed to mention under-fire former CEO John Delaney, who appeared before an Oireachtas Committee hearing on Wednesday but refused to answer a number of questions relating to a €100,000 loan he provided to the FAI two years ago, citing legal advice.

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