Saturday 17 February 2018

Sports minister backs FAI boss over €5m Fifa payout

Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe defends FAI boss John Delaney over €5m payout from FIFA
Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe defends FAI boss John Delaney over €5m payout from FIFA

Emma Jane Hade and Tyler Patchen

Sports Minister Paschal Donohoe has defended FAI boss John Delaney in the ongoing controversy about a €5m payout from Fifa.

Mr Donohoe said he supported Mr Delaney and the organisation's work after it published documentation which "provided the background" about how the €5m transaction came about following Thierry Henry's infamous handball against Ireland in 2009.

Mr Donohoe said he had "direct engagement" with the organisation over the matter and that he "emphasised to them" the importance of publishing details about the financial arrangement.

"I believe that issues in relation to governance, and issues in relation to how this transaction occurred, were supported and dealt with in the documentation that has been produced," Mr Donohoe said yesterday.

"I do support the work that John Delaney has done, I support the work that the FAI has done. But, I also believe it was important that they published what they did on Friday because the kind of questions that were being raised by the media and the public did need to be answered."

The Dublin TD also said he wanted to "emphasise" that the transaction occurred between "two private organisations" and did not involve taxpayers' money.

"We are absolutely confident that we have very good mechanisms in place regarding the use of public money - the taxpayers' money - and all of that is in place," he added.

The Transport, Tourism and Sports Minister was pictured close to Mr Delaney and his partner at the historic Ireland and England clash in the Aviva Stadium on Sunday.

But he said he would not be involved in the Oireachtas Committee which is expected to call Mr Delaney before them to explain the governance issues, adding that he will be "supportive" of their decision.

Irish Independent

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