Football Association of Ireland: Audit of governing body passed on to Irish police

FAI headquarters in Dublin
The FAI has been embroiled in controversy since revelations earlier this year that former chief executive John Delaney gave a 100,000 euro loan to the governing body in 2017

Sport Ireland has referred an independent audit of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to the Irish police.

The FAI has been embroiled in controversy since the revelation of a 100,000 euro loan given to it in 2017 by former chief executive John Delaney.

Auditors were appointed by Sport Ireland to look at the FAI's accounts.

Sport Ireland has received the audit and Sports Minister Shane Ross revealed it had been passed on to the Gardai.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sports said the minister had received "the final report of the independent audit of the FAI, conducted by KOSI Corporation Ltd".

"The minister said that Sport Ireland has today referred the report to An Garda Síochána," added the statement.

"The minister will not be in a position to publish the report or make any comment on its findings at this time."

FAI says it will 'co-operate fully with Gardai'

In response, the FAI said that it "noted the contents" of the department's statement, adding that it had "yet to receive the final report".

"As previously stated, the FAI can confirm that all Government money allocated to the FAI by Sport Ireland was spent appropriately and as intended," said the FAI statement.

"The Board of the FAI and FAI staff are already co-operating fully with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement in its enquiry into the FAI.

"The Football Association of Ireland will co-operate fully with any Garda Siochana investigation into FAI affairs on the back of the decision by the CEO of Sport Ireland to refer the report to An Garda Siochana."

After news of the 100,000 euro loan emerged in March, Delaney moved from the position of FAI chief executive to a newly created role of executive vice-president.

In April, Delaney agreed to voluntarily step aside from his new role and he was effectively on 'gardening leave' before resigning from the position in late September.

Ireland's state corporate watchdog began legal proceedings against the FAI in May after the association acknowledged it had broken state funding rules and its auditors said the 98-year-old association's accounts were not being properly kept, contravening two sections of Irish company law.

The FAI's state funding was also suspended and audit firm Mazars undertook a separate investigation into it, including into board expenses and payments to third parties.

After Delaney's resignation in late September, Shane Ross said that details of any severance package made by the FAI to Delaney needed to be made public before government funding could be restored to the football governing body.

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