Republic of Ireland news

Olympic Council of Ireland to act as own ticket agent in 2018 winter Olympics

The 2018 winter Olympics will be held in Pyeonchang
Deborah McAleese, Press Association

The Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will act as its own ticket agent in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, the board has said.

During the first meeting of the OCI board since the publication of a report into alleged ticket touting at the 2016 Rio Games, it was agreed on Wednesday night that its former president Pat Hickey would not be allowed back.

Mr Hickey is involved in legal proceedings in Brazil over alleged ticket touting at the 2016 Olympics.

In a statement the OCI board said it "unanimously agreed that it would not accept the return of the former president to the OCI board".

The OCI said it fully accepted all the findings of the Moran report into the ticket-touting scandal.

Following the decision by the Pyeonchang Organising Committee in South Korea to terminate the OCI's authorised ticket reseller (ATR) arrangements for the 2018 Winter Games, the board said it had decided to handle all ticketing arrangements for the Games itself.

Ireland is expected to have a small team of five to 10 athletes competing at the 2018 games.

The board also agreed to fully co-operate with an International Olympic Committee ethics commission investigation regarding Mr Hickey.

In a statement the OCI said it will seek an immediate meeting with Minister for Sport Shane Ross "with a view to expediting the reinstatement of state funding" to protect the future planning and preparation of athletes.

"The board is eager to move forward, to take the learnings from the past and to focus its time and energy on implementing its reform agenda and concentrating on athletes, their families, coaches, and member federations to ensure that it delivers for them in their pursuit of the Olympic dream and ideals," it said.

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