Belfast Telegraph

FAI audit ‘a matter of grave concern’, says minister

The review was commissioned amid questions about the finances of football’s governing body.

A review into Irish football’s government body has been referred to gardai (PA)
A review into Irish football’s government body has been referred to gardai (PA)

By Aoife Moore, PA

The Football Association Ireland (FAI) audit is a “matter of grave concern”, the minister for justice has said.

The independent audit of the FAI, which was commissioned on behalf of Sport Ireland, was referred to An Garda Siochana on Wednesday, the day Sports Minister Shane Ross received the report.

The review was commissioned amid questions about the finances of football’s governing body.

Speaking on Thursday, Charlie Flanagan said: “It’s a matter of grave concern.

“I know that the report has been referred to An Garda Siochana. An Garda Siochana will now engage in appropriate investigations and it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to make any further comment at this stage.”

Mr Flanagan added that he has not seen the report.

bpanews_79d2d886-fd94-42f6-b05c-453e41122e5f_embedded242252158
John Delaney resigned as executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland with immediate effect in September (Brian Lawless/PA)

A statement from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on Wednesday said: “Shane Ross has received the final report of the independent audit of the FAI, conducted by KOSI Corporation Ltd, on behalf of Sport Ireland.

“The minister said that Sport Ireland has today referred the report to An Garda Siochana. The minister will not be in a position to publish the report or make any comment on its findings at this time.”

A Garda spokesman said: “We received correspondence from Sport Ireland which will be assessed by the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the report should be made public.

He said: “I think they should get to see it as soon as possible, you know huge numbers of people in Ireland are our football fans and contribute a lot to the FAI in different ways, either financially or as volunteers.

“So I think the public should see it as soon as possible. But, you know, because this has been referred to the gardai we wouldn’t want to put anything out in the public domain that might actually undermine the possibility of future accountability, or even future prosecutions.”

John Delaney resigned as executive vice-president of the Football Association of Ireland with immediate effect in September.

He agreed in April to voluntarily step aside following disclosure of a 100,000 euro loan he gave to the FAI and that he made a series of payments from FAI funds that were not in the ordinary course of its business.

A number of investigations have since been launched into the financial affairs of the FAI, amid concerns Mr Delaney failed to use his credit card properly and did not control his personal expenses.

PA

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph