Shane Ross: Govt cannot resume FAI funding until we see independent reports

The Minister for Sport Shane Ross has said that he cannot interfere in the independence of the FAI and cannot endorse a situation where “some of the old regime” is still in place.

Shane Ross: Govt cannot resume FAI funding until we see independent reports

The Minister for Sport Shane Ross has said that he cannot interfere in the independence of the FAI and cannot endorse a situation where “some of the old regime” is still in place.

It comes after delegates at Saturday’s FAI EGM in Dunboyne backed proposals for comprehensive reform of the association by a resounding 116 votes to 2.

It means rule changes to facilitate the implementation of the first phase of the Governance Group Report will go ahead as planned.

After Saturday's EGM, Donal Conway confirmed that he will stand unopposed for re-election as President to an interim board for a period of one year at next week’s AGM in Trim which now goes ahead as scheduled.

The move comes amid a call for him to step down by the Sports Minister.

This morning, Minister Ross told RTE radio’s Today with Miriam show that the Government was withdrawing funding from the FAI and had made it clear that there was “absolutely no acceptance” that people who had overseen the organisation during a controversial period were still in office.

The Minister said it was "totally against corporate norms" that someone who had been on the board for 14 years would still be there, adding “that’s too long by any standards”.

Mr Ross said he had a responsibility to look after the taxpayers’ money, the supporters and the players.

Mr Conway said on Saturday that he had contacted Chief Executive John Treacy immediately after the meeting to appraise him of the outcome of the vote.

He added that the two will speak again today.

He said: “I didn’t go to him, saying, ‘Listen, John, turn on the tap now’, but I just made sure he was aware of the outcome and I will probably speak to him again on Monday.”

“I think there will have to be other steps of course – the conclusion of the KOSI audit would be an important step for Sport Ireland – and then there’s the work of that interim board over the next 12 months.

The Sports Minister today said he would have to wait to see what the independent reports say before making a decision.

He said: "The Government cannot resume funding until those reports have been viewed."

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