FAI appoint global auditing group to conduct 'in-depth external review of all matters' as pressure mounts
The Football Association of Ireland have appointed international auditing group Mazars to undergo an “in-depth external review of all matters” as questions relating to the association’s finances and Executive Vice President John Delaney continue to be raised.
In a further statement issued on Saturday afternoon, the FAI Board stated that it "acknowledges the concerns expressed by members of the football family, supporters, commentators, politicians and the public around recent media stories concerning the Association.
"The Board is committed to fully addressing the issues of concern and is undertaking steps to do so.
"The Board of the FAI has established a sub-committee, from amongst its members, which is working closely with the Association's external advisers and auditors to urgently address these matters.
"Global auditing and consulting group Mazars has been commissioned by the sub-committee to conduct an independent and in-depth external review of all matters. The Board has requested that this review be completed as soon as possible."
A number of questions have been raised since The Sunday Times published a story two weeks ago detailing how a sum of €100,000 was transferred from Mr Delaney’s bank account into the FAI’s account and transferred back two months later.
The FAI have stated that the amount was a bridging loan relating to a short term cash-flow issue but questions have been asked by many, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, as to why the association’s regular banking facilities were not utlisied.
Further revelations relating to a €3,000 a month payment by the FAI to cover the rent on two properties Mr Delaney had rented over the previous three years emerged last weekend. There were a number of protests relating to the corporate governance of the association at Tuesday's home game against Georgia including one where a number of tennis balls were thrown onto the pitch. The FAI have since been charged by UEFA for that protest which which halted the game for two minutes.
Sport Ireland have also written to the FAI seeking "urgent clarification from the Board of the FAI on media reports concerning a loan to the organisation by its Chief Executive, including the circumstances of the loan and its repayment", having not been notified of the €100,000 transfer of funds when it occurred in 2017.
The association are due to appear at an Oireachtas Committee on April 10th and both that appearance and Sports Ireland were referenced in the latest statement which concluded:
"The FAI is engaging fully with Sport Ireland and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in dealing with their particular inquiries.
"The Association will be appearing before the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport and recognises and shares the desire for the matters to be addressed as soon as possible, with due regard to the different ongoing processes."