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FAI "may be in serious, serious bother" after Gardaí referral - Fergus O'Dowd TD

Ciaran Bradley
Ciaran Bradley

20:34 27 Nov 2019

The FAI may find themselves in "serious, serious bother" after an independent audit of the organisation was referred to the Gardaí, according to committee member of the Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport Fergus O'Dowd.

O'Dowd spoke to Off The Ball following the revelation that the audit carried out by KOSI - on behalf of Sport Ireland - has been passed on to the Gardaí by the Chief Executive of Sport Ireland.

The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross, has also written to the Gardaí to ensure his full co-operation with any investigation that may arise, while the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE) has been notified of these developments.

FAI developments

Off The Ball spoke to O'Dowd this evening, who expressed serious misgivings about what the referral may mean for the reinstatement of funding to grass-roots football.

"We want to get the money back to youth soccer as quickly as possible," said the member.

He also expressed that "[the] FAI may be in serious, serious bother as it is unusual for a report of this nature to be referred to the Gardaí."

He confirmed that the committee would also be looking to speak to the FAI in the new year, after any referral to the authorities runs its course.

In correspondence seen by Off The Ball, Shane Ross confirms that he has sought legal advice regarding the report, and that the report would not be published at this time.

Earlier today, Off the Ball revealed the FAI audit was said to be in the final stages, based off correspondence seen between Sport Ireland and the Oireachtas Joint Committee on Transport, Tourism, and Sport.

KOSI Corporation Ltd were appointed as auditors by Sport Ireland back in May, with the Northern Irish accountancy firm also involving a forensic accountant in their probe.

That followed issues raised surrounding the financial affairs and corporate governance within the FAI, including queries over a €100,000 bridging loan sent by then FAI CEO John Delaney to the association.

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