Tuesday 26 March 2019

John Delaney postpones Oireachtas committee appearance due to UEFA Switzerland trip

John Delaney, CEO, Football Association of Ireland. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile
John Delaney, CEO, Football Association of Ireland. Photo by Matt Browne/Sportsfile

John Fallon

JOHN DELANEY will not appear before a committee of TDs and senators until April after postponing this Wednesday’s hearing at government buildings.

The Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport had first requested the FAI CEO to field questions on governance within the association in January. That had to be rescheduled until February 20 but now Delaney claims he cannot attend due to a clash with UEFA business on the same day in Geneva.

The Waterford man was elected to UEFA’s executive committee in April 2017. In a statement, the FAI said that Delaney, FAI President Donal Conway and Director of Corporate Affairs and Licensing Rea Walshe will fly to Switzerland to meet with the European governing body over 'matters arising from the recent UEFA Annual Congress in Rome'.

CEO John Delaney said: "We are grateful to the Committee for facilitating our request to move our meeting to April.

"We look forward to appearing before the Committee and we will happily address any matters that they would like to raise with the FAI."

Delaney has been at the helm of Irish football for over 13 years and is surrounded by a loyal board of nine men and one female.

Committee member Catherine Murphy recently branded the FAI 'secret organisation' and has demanded explanations for the state the League of Ireland finds itself in. Delaney dismissed the Social Democrats TD’s comments as a 'sideshow'.

Deputy Murphy also wants to learn of the compensation amount awarded to manager Martin O’Neill and his assistant Roy Keane when they were sacked in November.

Latest figures show the FAI received almost €50m from the state coffers over the past decade.

A recent report also revealed how Delaney sought and was awarded grant money from Sport Ireland before the annual submission for tax-payers’ funds was approved.

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