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Sport Ireland to conduct 'extensive' audit of the FAI

It will include an assessment of the football body’s fitness to handle public funds.

FAI Offices at Abbottstown.
FAI Offices at Abbottstown.

SPORT IRELAND HAVE today confirmed that they will carry out an extensive audit of the Football Association of Ireland, beginning in the coming days. 

The state body today con that they have appointed KOSI Corporation Ltd to carry out what they term “an extensive independent audit of the Football Association of Ireland.

The audit team will consist of a group of senior auditors and a forensic accountant, and they will assess the FAI’s expenditure of all Sport Ireland grant funding, along with the FAI’s wider financial administration and internal control environment. This will include an assessment of the FAI’s fitness to handle public funds.

This audit brings yet more scrutiny to bear upon the beleaguered football body.

Grant Thornton has been on site at Abbottstown in recent weeks to assess the FAI’s books, with a more extensive audit of the Association to be conducted by Mazars.

The FAI are also engaged with the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement (ODCE), with Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy telling an Oireachtas Committee last month that the FAI is subject to “substantial” engagement with the ODCE over matters that the watchdog had raised with it.

The ODCE is seeking the High Court’s determination as to whether the FAI can claim legal privilege over 10 documents the football body has provided to the State watchdog. 

The FAI yesterday asked the High Court to consider whether advice from Rea Walshe is considered privileged, in part because the company’s interim CEO is a solicitor.

Separate to all of this, the FAI and Sport Ireland are working together on a governance review group that will return recommendations on how to reform the running of the Association. The group is meeting on a weekly basis, and will return their findings no later than 21 June, ahead of the FAI AGM on 27 July. 

With reporting by Rónán Duffy 

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Gavin Cooney

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