Thursday 24 October 2019

FAI to be quizzed about governance and finance issues by FIFA delegation next week

John Delaney. Photo: PA
John Delaney. Photo: PA
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

FIFA officials are set to visit FAI headquarters next Wednesday to discuss corporate governance at the association.

The two person delegation will meet with the FAI board and representatives of Sport Ireland as concern grows about the FAI’s handling of its affairs.

This follows two meetings between FAI officials and Uefa delegates last week.

Last Monday, FAI president Donal Conway, interim chief executive Rea Walshe and Board member Eamonn Naughton, met with Uefa president Aleksander Ceferin and director of national associations Zoran Lakovic in Switzerland.

A Uefa delegation then visited Dublin on Tuesday and supported the establishment of a governance review board by the FAI and Sport Ireland.

Yesterday Sport Ireland appointed Northern Irish accounting firm KOSI Corporation Ltd to carry out an extensive independent audit of the association. Separate inquiries by consultancy firms Mazars and Grant Thornton are also being carried out. Meanwhile, an FAI subcommittee is carrying out an inquiry into issues relating to the €100,000 loan former FAI chief-executive John Delaney gave the association two years ago to deal with a cash flow problem.

The Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and Revenue are also examining the FAI’s affairs.

FAI president Donal Conway welcomed news of the Fifa delegation’s visit.

“Uefa and the FAI are exploring all areas in which Uefa can assist the FAI and will continue to work in partnership for the betterment of Irish football.

“Fifa are also key stakeholders in Irish football. Their support and assistance at this time is most welcome. We look forward to a productive meeting with the Fifa delegation and to the ongoing co-operation and support from both Fifa and Uefa as we transform our governance procedures and our Association."

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