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FAI facing eight-hour quiz on governance and Delaney loan

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John Delaney, the new executive vice president, is due to attend. Photo: Sportsfile

John Delaney, the new executive vice president, is due to attend. Photo: Sportsfile

John Delaney, the new executive vice president, is due to attend. Photo: Sportsfile

FAI officials are to be grilled for up to eight hours at an Oireachtas committee next week amid concerns over governance in the organisation.

Former chief executive and newly-appointed executive vice president of the footballing organisation John Delaney is scheduled to attend a hearing of the Joint Oireachtas Committee of Transport, Tourism and Sport next week.

Mr Delaney will face questions from TDs and senators over the €100,000 loan he gave to the organisation in 2017, which was not detailed in the FAI's accounts.

He will also be quizzed about recent governance changes at the top of the FAI, in which he has moved from chief executive to the new role of executive vice president.

It is understood the Oireachtas committee has reserved a committee room in Leinster House for eight hours, although the hearing may not require the full time.

Funding

A meeting this week with Sport Ireland went on for four hours as members went through issues relating to the State body's role in administering funding to the FAI on behalf of the taxpayer.

During the meeting, Sport Ireland head John Treacy declined to say he had confidence in the FAI's board, saying instead: "Well I'm not saying 'yes'."

The committee has asked the FAI that those on the board who have a responsibility for governance attend alongside Mr Delaney.

The committee asked Donal Conway, Eddie Murray, Paraic Treanor and interim chief executive Rea Walshe to attend.

A spokesman for the FAI last night said "we are not making any comment" when asked to confirm if the three named board members would attend.

Ms Walshe is expected to attend, alongside League of Ireland chief Fran Gavin, high-performance director Ruud Dokter and business partnerships director Karen Campion.

Committee members received legal advice yesterday and were reminded of their scope when dealing with witnesses.

Next week they will be briefed on corporate governance.

Committee chair Fergus O'Dowd has said he wants the committee to be fully prepared and briefed to address the issues raised.

It is also understood Sport Ireland will be brought back to the committee for a hearing on April 17 to discuss what transpires next week and to examine the next steps to ensure sporting organisations in Ireland are well regulated on a wider level.