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Delaney may appear before Oireachtas committee

John Delaney

FOOTBALL Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney is expected to be hauled before TDs and senators to explain FIFAs E5 million payment to the football body.

The Oireachtas committee on sports and tourism is set to meet tomorrow and decide whether it will require Mr Delaney to outline the circumstances surrounding the loan from world football's governing body.

Mr Delaney has been under pressure since it emerged last week that FIFA had made the payment after the Republics controversial exit from the 2009 World Cup following the infamous Thierry Henry handball incident.

Committee chairman and Fine Gael TD, John OMahony, a former GAA footballer for Mayo, yesterday said it was important that there was good governance of all sporting bodies in the State.

He said that while the committee did not involve itself in the internal workings of any sporting organisation it had a responsibility to address the issue of governance.

The FAI has said that the FIFA money was used to offset the cost of the Aviva Stadium, which also received E190 million of southern taxpayers money.

Mr OMahony said that by appearing before the committee Mr Delaney would have the opportunity to clear up a number of questions that had arisen in recent days in relation to the payment, adding that it was important that there was clarity on the issue.

Sinn Fins sports spokesman, Dessie Ellis, has called for a frank discussion to take place rather than allowing rumours and doubt to grow over the actions of the Republics national football association on the international stage.

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