DUBLIN (Reuters) – The head of the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) will face questions from lawmakers over a 100,000 euro (87,204 pounds) loan provided to the governing body, which the prime minister described as “unusual”.
John Delaney will appear before a parliamentary committee on April 3 to be quizzed about the personal loan, provided two years ago to help the FAI with what it called a short-term cash flow issue, the FAI said on Thursday.
Delaney said in a statement it was the only time he had given such a loan. The FAI said it had repaid the sum in full two months later. It also said it had written to Ireland’s corporate watchdog to explain the payment.
The Sunday Times had reported the loan, saying Delaney had failed in a court application to prevent the disclosure.
“It does seem a bit unusual, a body of that size, given its operations and the funding it receives,” Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said on Wednesday.
“I would have thought it would have banking facilities that would have provided for a loan,” he told reporters.
Sport Ireland, a state-funded coordination body, said the FAI had not notified it at any stage about a deterioration in its finances, as it would have been obliged to do.
Delaney said the loan had been “a matter of timing” and had no impact on the FAI’s overall financial position.
The FAI generated a retained surplus of 2.8 million euros on revenues of 49 million in 2017, according to its annual accounts. There was no mention of Delaney’s loan in the report.
Delaney has been the FAI’s chief executive since 2005 and has sat on the executive committee of European soccer body UEFA for two years.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Kevin Liffey)