Friday 30 September 2016

Police say they wanted to quiz O'Brien and Delaney as they're the 'big guys'

Ger Keville and Martin Grant

Published 24/08/2016 | 02:30

FAI chief executive John Delaney
FAI chief executive John Delaney

Police in Brazil said they wanted to interview John Delaney and Willie O'Brien about their involvement in an alleged ticket touting scam because "they are the big guys in the council".

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Investigator Aloysio Falcao spoke to the media in English shortly after a police press conference in Rio de Janeiro last night.

When asked why he wanted to interview FAI chief Executive, and Vice President of the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI), John Delaney and temporary OCI President Willie O'Brien, Mr Falcao explained: "We wanted to know about his involvement in this case but he didn't come to Brazil.

"Emails were sent to Patrick Hickey, copied to John Delaney and Willie O'Brien because they are the big guys in the council.

"Patrick Hickey said in the police station that all the decisions were made by the executive council and these guys are the big guys in the OCI.

"We want to know if he was participating in this case or not. We have to listen to [Kevin} Kilty and [Stephen] Martin on Thursday. And also, we want to speak to the Minister of Ireland to check the information about his [alleged] involvement in this scandal."

Meanwhile. a Cabinet minister has called on Mr Delaney to speak up on the ticketing scandal that has rocked the Olympic Council of Ireland.

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed said Mr Delaney, as chief executive of the FAI but also as an OCI member, must co-operate with the non-statutory inquiry being set up here.

He said: "I think there's an obligation on anybody.

"In the context of a non-statutory inquiry, there isn't compellability, but it is incumbent on all parties.

"The OCI are saying they will co-operate, and John Delaney - not only as chief executive of the FAI, but also as an OCI member.

"We would like to hear from all parties, including Mr Delaney."

Mr Creed joined Mary Wilson on RTÉ's 'Drivetime' yesterday evening, hours after Mr Delaney had been interviewed by a local radio journalist in Waterford.

During that interview, Mr Delaney spoke about the former FAI president Milo Corcoran, who has passed away, but there was no mention of the alleged ticket-touting scandal in Brazil.

Mr Delaney was not asked about the ticket controversy or OCI business when he spoke to WLR FM yesterday.

Paying tribute to Milo Corcoran, he said: "He will be a huge loss. Sometimes, that is just said - but it's meant this time.

"He was somebody who the FAI really... the staff loved him, the board loved him, and certainly I loved him."

Mr Delaney has remained silent on events in Rio, despite his vice-presidential role leaving him second-in-charge at the organisation since Mr Hickey temporarily stepped aside. Mr Delaney did not respond to calls made by the Irish Independent and an FAI spokesman said he was not available for comment.

The OCI has confirmed that Mr Delaney attended a crisis meeting on Sunday night.

Irish Independent

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