Soccer

"All of them should go" - Fergus O'Dowd calls for John Delaney and FAI Board resignations


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In one of the most dramatic days off the pitch in Irish football, senior members of the FAI Board were questioned by an Oireachtas Committee about corporate governance at the organisation in the wake of recent revelations in the media.

Pressure to answer questions in relation to a €100,000 bridging loan given to the Association in 2017 by then Chief Executive John Delaney dominated proceedings. However, Delaney read a prepared statement outlining how he wouldn't be answering questions in relation to this loan or about his time as Chief Executive.

Chair of the Committee, Fergus O'Dowd joined Wednesday's Off The Ball and asked if the FAI needs a completely new Board and if John Delaney should go also, O'Dowd replied: "I do, absolutely. I believe all of them should go and I think they should go voluntarily. I think we shouldn't be pushed. They should say 'Look, let's have a transition - let's appoint a, I know they're about to appoint a new Chief Executive Officer, bring in Sport Ireland or outside people to appoint the best person' and then go from there.

"That's the public will"

"I don't think they should sit around. I know from talking to people and listening to them they want it done and they want it done now and that's it. That's the public will anyway."

Clarifying his comments, O'Dowd said: "Well, I think the position is that, as you say, you have a regime that's probably a strange idea but if you have a status like, 'There's a book and it's out of date and the cover doesn't have people looking at it - you've got to change the whole thing. You've got to change what's outside and inside.

"And I just know in my heart and soul when you want real change - just go! And a whole new [group of] younger people with new ideas. There's a question about gender balance - all those issues are there.

"The FAI do lots of very good things, particularly in relation to racism and disadvantaged communities but just a new generation to take over. And why not - why shouldn't they take over? It's time."

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Bridging Loan Donal Conway FAI Fergus O'Dowd Football Irish Football John Delaney Loan Oircheatas Committee Soccer

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