Saturday 17 August 2019

Fifa, Uefa hit out at Ross over criticism of Conway bid


Seeks re-election: Current FAI president Donal Conway. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Seeks re-election: Current FAI president Donal Conway. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Fifa and Uefa have written to the FAI to express "serious concerns" over Sports Minister Shane Ross's call for FAI president Donal Conway to withdraw his nomination for re-election.

In a strongly worded letter to Mr Conway and the FAI, Mr Ross hit out at the incumbent president's re-election bid, with no other candidates emerging to challenge Mr Conway.

"I must ask you to withdraw your nomination for re-election at the upcoming AGM to allow for new leadership with credible reform credentials, in the best interests of football," Mr Ross wrote.

The FAI says it has received a joint-communiqué from Fifa and Uefa on the recent comments from the minister.

In the statement from the governing bodies, they pointed to the rules regarding third-party interference in matters concerning football associations, issuing a reminder that sanctions could apply if an association "fails to meet these obligations", including possible suspension from competition.

"Fifa and Uefa are seriously concerned regarding the aforementioned statement from the Minister for Sport," the governing bodies said in their statement.

Although the entire FAI Board said it would step down at the AGM on July 27, the recently published governance report recommends that a maximum of two current board members should stay in situ for a further 12 months to help with the transition to a new board set-up.

An EGM to be held today will consider and vote on a number of reforms recommended by the governance review, which is then followed by the AGM a week later.

In his letter, Mr Ross wrote that Mr Conway's effective re-election runs contrary to what he had previously indicated.

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