Fifa seek ‘clarification’ from FAI over breaches

John Delaney

Fifa have written to the Football Association of Ireland seeking answers about their present troubles.

The world governing body has at its disposal an option to take charge of the association by appointing a “normalisation committee”.

The criteria under their statute of acting in “exceptional circumstances” would appear to be justified given the FAI are being investigated by the Office of Director of Corporate Enforcement and have been reported by auditors Deloitte for accounting breaches.

Furthermore, all state funding is suspended pending implementation of a yet-to-be-completed report by auditing firm Mazars on governance reforms.

John Delaney, following his controversial €100,000 loan to the FAI in 2017, has been placed on gardening leave from his new role of executive vice-president while treasurer Eddie Murray and secretary Michael Cody have quit.

The remaining eight members of the board have vowed to resign at their next general meeting, either at an AGM in July or an EGM before then.

Last night, Fifa said: “In order to properly assess the situation, Fifa has contacted the FAI and requested clarification about the latest developments. We are awaiting their response. In the meantime, please understand we cannot comment further.”

Meanwhile, Ireland women’s manager Colin Bell would like to see his team line out at Lansdowne Road. “I haven’t spoken to anybody but that’s my dream,” he said.

“We have to be ambitious and be at a level where we deserve it.”

Ireland kick off their Euro 2021 qualification campaign on September 3 against Montenegro. Germany and Ukraine are the top seeds, with the pool completed by Greece.

Bell declined to outline what he would like Delaney’s permanent successor to provide him with. “All I would say is that during my two-and-a-half years here, John Delaney was brilliant to work with. But my main relationship is with Ruud Dokter, our high performance director.”

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