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Twist in FAI saga as TD calls for meeting to be brought forward

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FAI CEO John Delaney

FAI CEO John Delaney

SPORTSFILE

John O'Mahony

John O'Mahony

FAI CEO John Delaney

The FAI may be asked to bring forward an appearance before an Oireachtas committee to answer queries about the €100,000 transaction between the FAI and CEO John Delaney.

And a Government TD has labelled as "inappropriate" an invitation by the FAI to Oireachtas members to attend their reception and dinner just days before FAI officials were due to be grilled about finances.

An FAI delegation is due to appear before an all-party committee of Oireachtas members on April 10.

Social Democrat TD Catherine Murphy is on record as saying she wants to put questions to the FAI on a range of issues and that she has been provided with information by members of the public, while players' union, the PFAI, have also contacted that Oireachtas committee in advance of the hearing.

"I'm actually surprised at the number of people who have contacted me with things they are concerned about related to the FAI. It's not exclusively financial, some of it relates to governance issues," Murphy said.

That meeting is due to take place in Leinster House on April 10 but Fine Gael Senator John O'Mahony has stated his desire to bring that forward, given the weekend revelation about that €100,000 loan to the FAI from Delaney in 2017. "In light of what has been revealed it would be in everyone's interest, including John Delaney and the FAI, that the meeting be brought forward, there are a lot of questions to be answered, I understand there are calls to bring it forward and I would support that," O'Mahony said.

Party colleague Noel Rock has stated his unease at Oireachtas members being invited by the FAI to a reception and dinner on April 4 for the draw for the U17 European Championship finals, which Ireland is hosting in May,

"We hope to have the hearing later in April but until then I don't believe it would be appropriate for members of the committee to be socialising and mingling with members of the FAI board, in the context of this hearing which has yet to happen," says Rock.

"There are serious questions which have to be answered in relation to the finances of the FAI, in relation to the cash flow position of the FAI and the loan. In my view the invitation is an error and should not have happened."

The FAI last night said they had "answered all queries" raised by Sport Ireland's John Treacy over the €100,000 loan.

"The FAI are also willing to meet with Minister Ross and Sport Ireland to discuss these matters further," an FAI statement said.

"Also, the FAI has also written to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement offering clarification on any issues raised by a 2017 bridging loan made by Chief Executive Officer John Delaney to the Association and will answer any questions that the ODCE may have. The FAI also acknowledges that we are invited to appear in the front of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport on Wednesday, April 10."


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