Sport Ireland has suspended its funding of the FAI.
The decision comes ahead of the association’s opening statement to the Joint Committee of Transport, Tourism and Sport which Sport Ireland say acknowledges a breach of the terms and conditions of Grant Approval.
The FAI are due to appear in front of the Committee, following the revelation that not all of its board members were aware of the full facts of a 100-thousand euro loan from then CEO John Delaney in 2017.
50 per cent of this year’s 2-point-7 million in funding has already been paid, but the rest will be withheld until all reports into the loan have been delivered and acted upon.
FAI President Donal Conway says it’s unfortunate that Sport Ireland has taken this step.
But Conway adds that the FAI are keen to restore trust and confidence and rebuild its relationship with Sport Ireland.
Sport Ireland Statement on Funding to the Football Association of Ireland
The Board of Sport Ireland at its meeting today (April 9th) has decided to suspend and withhold future funding to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) in accordance with Clause 1.1 of Sport Ireland’s Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.
The decision was taken in light of an acknowledgement by the FAI in its written opening statement to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Transport, Tourism and Sport tomorrow that in 2017 the FAI did not comply with Clause 4.3 of Sport Ireland’s Terms & Conditions of Grant Approval.
Clause 4.3 specifically relates to ‘Further Reporting’:
“In addition each organisation undertakes to notify Sport Ireland in writing without delay in the event of any material deterioration in its financial position or of any other matter which may jeopardise the organisation’s overall financial viability and/or its ability to comply with its commitments in the Approved Submission, and thereafter to provide Sport Ireland with such information and documentation as Sport Ireland may request in connection with the relevant matter and any steps being taken to rectify it.”
In making the decision to suspend and withhold funding, the Board of Sport Ireland notes that the FAI has already been paid 50% of its 2019 funding to date and some positive steps taken by the FAI in recent days.
This decision will be reviewed by the Board of Sport Ireland as a standing item at each of its future meetings.
The Board of Sport Ireland will consider the reinstatement of funding once all ongoing reports commissioned by the FAI have been completed and the recommendations adopted, and the Board of Sport Ireland is satisfied that all necessary processes and controls are in place to ensure the FAI’s ongoing compliance with the Terms and Conditions of Grant Approval.
Sport Ireland will continue to provide non-financial assistance and guidance to the FAI, which may be helpful in advancing matters.