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Friday 22 June 2018

OCI ends THG ticket deal - but no word on compensation

Pat Ex-OCI president Pat Hickey
Pat Ex-OCI president Pat Hickey

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) has ended its partnership with ticketing agent THG, but has refused to reveal if there was a compensation package agreed.

The OCI and THG - the company at the centre of the Rio Olympics ticketing scandal - agreed to terminate the contract ­allowing THG to be its official ­Olympics ticket distributor.

The contract was due to last up until the Summer Olympic Games in 2026.

THG, which is owned by millionaire Marcus Evans, is understood to have agreed the deal with former OCI president Pat Hickey in January last year.

Permission

In August, the OCI confirmed that THG had been refused permission by the International Olympic Council (IOC) as an official ticketing agent for the Winter Games, which take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next year.

In a statement, the OCI said that both itself and THG had agreed that the termination of the contract was the most appropriate course of action.

However, when asked if there was a compensation package agreed with THG and what sum that was, the OCI insisted that the "terms of agreement are confidential".

"Following a mediation carried out by former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Finnegan, THG and the Olympic Council of Ireland wish to announce that they have reached an agreement to terminate the contracts agreed between the parties in 2016 that relate to the 2018-2026 Olympic Games," the statement read.

Enforceable

"OCI accepts that these contracts were enforceable as between the parties and that THG fully intended performing its contractual obligations.

"Both parties agreed that, with THG reducing its business activities in Ireland, that this would be the most appropriate course of action in the interests of Irish athletes and the wider Irish public."

Sports Minister Shane Ross said he was pleased with the decision, and said that if further progress was made, following the guidance of the Moran report into the OCI, then it would be possible for full government funding to be restored at the OCI.

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