Thursday 21 November 2019

FAI to stand firm

Conway plan to proceed despite Ross call

FAI President Donal Conway
FAI President Donal Conway

The FAI will proceed with a plan to have current president Donal Conway stay in that role after next week's AGM.

That's despite a call from Minister for Sport Shane Ross for Conway to stand aside.

Ahead of a testing time for the FAI, which includes an EGM on Saturday and their AGM a week later, Ross delivered another blow to the embattled body yesterday.

He called for Conway, an FAI board member since 2005, not to run for re-election as president and to carry through on a promise for the current board to stand down entirely.

"You reiterated the Board's commitment to stand down at the AGM. Contrary to this commitment, you have now been effectively re-elected at President of the FAI," Ross told Conway in a sternly-worded letter.

"This was a reversal of your promise to bring reform to the FAI under a new leadership.

"Together with your decision to appoint former FAI employee and loyalist Noel Mooney to the post of General Manager, this development means that the new regime has a very old look about it."

But the FAI will not back down and last night they responded, stating that the plan to have one or two current board members stay on for a year was a key element of the Governance Review Group’s report, which has been endorsed by Sport Ireland.

“The FAI notes the Minister’s ongoing interest in and concern for the game of Association Football and shares the Minister’s desire to improve governance all across the Association,” the FAI said in a statement.

There will be further questions on FAI policy today when Sport Ireland, who have halted funding to the FAI, appear before an Oireachtas committee.

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