Monday 26 September 2016

'We need answers on Rio ticket saga' - OCI grassroots

Open dissent from Olympic sport bodies

Published 08/09/2016 | 02:30

Pat Hickey – who has been embroiled in an ongoing Rio ticket-touting investigation – has
been president of the country’s Olympic organisation for more then 27 years. Photo: Steve Humphreys
Pat Hickey – who has been embroiled in an ongoing Rio ticket-touting investigation – has been president of the country’s Olympic organisation for more then 27 years. Photo: Steve Humphreys

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) is now facing mounting grassroots dissent in the wake of the Rio ticketing scandal.

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The head of one of the largest sporting bodies affiliated to the OCI has demanded answers about the ticketing controversy.

In the first open expression of dissent within the Olympic grassroots, Basketball Ireland chief executive Bernard O'Byrne wrote to OCI acting president William O'Brien asking how and why "matters developed as they did in Brazil".

And Mr O'Byrne also pointedly asked: "Do we support Pat Hickey?" Mr O'Byrne is a former chief executive of the FAI.

His letter was sent to the heads of the 39 OCI-affiliated organisations. Mr O'Byrne claimed OCI members were being put "in a very vulnerable position" due to an absence of information.

And another organisation has criticised the governance of the OCI. The men's branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland says the length of time an OCI president can serve must be examined.

Referring to former OCI President Pat Hickey's term in office, GUI president Pat Finn said it was "not appropriate" for any individual to hold the position for more than 27 years.

Irish Independent

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