A Donegal County Councillor has called on the FAI to ‘get their house in order’ before grassroots football is made to suffer in the county.
Cllr Gary Doherty made the comments today following remarks made by Minister Shane Ross that grant funding to the FAI may now come under threat.
Speaking today, Cllr Doherty said: “The Sports Minister Shane Ross has told the FAI it will not be eligible for new capital sports grants unless it provides answers to Sport Ireland’s questions around corporate governance arising from John Delaney’s €100,000 loan to the association.
“This follows the shocking revelations which emerged over the weekend around John Delaney’s spending on an FAI credit card and his shameful and shambolic appearance before an Oireachtas committee last week.
“It is absolutely right and proper that the FAI Board is reconstituted and the financial dealings of the FAI are subject to a full and rigorous corporate governance review.
“John Delaney must also be removed from any role in the FAI for the good of football in this Country, and he cannot be allowed to hide behind the ‘yes-men’ in the FAI and official Ireland who would try and cover for his failings.
“However, grassroots football must not be allowed to suffer because of the ineptitude of those at the top in the FAI,” he added.
“We hear today from Minister Ross that Sports Capital Grants will now be under threat, and for us in Donegal that brings the spotlight on the new Finn Harps Stadium.
“Harps have been waiting for some time for the development of the new stadium, and it was brilliant to receive news that the Stadium would finally be progressing last year.
“Last July, the Department of Sport announced a €304,000 grant towards the restart of the stadium build. The rest of the project is to be funded through Government and FAI grants, as well as matching funding from the club,” Doherty said.
“In addition, clubs right across Donegal from Ulster Senior League level right through the Donegal Leagues have benefited from and rely on this grant funding for the maintenance and development of club facilities.
“This funding is now in serious doubt unless the FAI can get their house in order.
“I am appealing to those with influence in the organisation to act now before ordinary clubs and supporters are forced to suffer again.”