Work on Finn Harps’ new stadium in Stranorlar could be further delayed with news that Sports Minister Shane Ross could put a stall on some €25m of Government funding for major soccer developments.
Minister Ross says his department will take ‘necessary action’ if beleaguered FAI bosses don’t provide answers on their governance.
The blunt warning from the Minister comes as former FAI CEO John Delaney is to have his future discussed by the FAI Board at a meeting today in Abbotstown.
Sport Ireland, which provides €2.7m a year for a number of programmes within the FAI, confirmed the decision to suspend funding.
The Minister said he would give his judgment on the board after Sports Ireland has completed its report on the issue.
The funding has been suspended because of the FAI’s failure to answer a range of questions about the soccer organisation’s accounts.
The funding has been pulled from the FAI just days before the deadline closes on a Government funding stream – the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund (LSSIF) – on Wednesday.
“The FAI have not answered the questions that were necessary,” Minister Ross said.
“They haven’t answered questions on corporate governance. We have to look at how they are running the sporting body. It seems to me those questions have to be answered. If they are not answered, we will take the necessary action.”
A stall on funding would have immediate impact on five developments across the country – including the building of the ‘Donegal Stadium’, Finn Harps’ new home.
Earlier this year, Harps announced that work was to resume on the development, with phase one set to see the completion of a 1,900-seater stand, changing rooms, offices, a new pitch and floodlights.
Last July, the Department of Sport announced a €304,000 grant towards the relaunch of the development.