Sunday 15 September 2019

'The narrative now must change' - Niall Quinn says renaming FAI could help 'rebuild trust'

Niall Quinn
Niall Quinn
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Former Ireland international Niall Quinn has proposed a renaming of the FAI under route and branch measures to reform the embattled association.

Quinn met with TDs, Senators and members of the football community in Leinster House today to outline a vision of change for the future of Irish football.

He welcomed news of the FAI board resigning but said it was "not a silver bullet" and further change is necessary.

He cited the Olympic Federation of Ireland, formerly the Olympic Council of Ireland, which went under a series of changes following the fallout from the Rio ticket scandal.

During the Leinster House meeting he said a name change could be considered. After the meeting Quinn explained further.

"I threw it out there because the Olympic Federation has just come in to a really good place," he said.

"The Government is happy, the trust has been rebuilt. What did they do? That is the only reason I looked at it and I was looking at how it has gone so well for them.

"They had a CEO who kept their head under water, wasn’t (a) celebrity and did some brilliant work. The executives were around it to do the exact same thing. There is a lot to like there."

He said a change of the governance structures and roles within the FAI will allow for a series of other changes in Irish football.

"The narrative now must change to rebuilding trust for all of the stakeholders.

"Football needs to do that right now. It is not as simple as removing the CEO and the board.

"That represents an opportunity for things to happen but there are some real hard yards ahead of the new group that goes in to represent football in a new, more modern and transparent way."

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