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Shane Ross to sit down with FAI on Monday after organisation requested meeting with Government

The meeting is scheduled for Monday.

Image: RollingNews.ie

SPORTS MINISTER SHANE Ross today said that he and Brendan Griffin will meet with the FAI to discuss the future of the troubled sports body. 

In a statement this afternoon, Ross said that he will sit down with the FAI but he was disappointed that a new selection of independent directors were not in place for the meeting. 

A statement read: “Following requests from the FAI for an urgent meeting, Minister Ross and Minister Griffin have agreed to meet with board members on Monday 16 December.

“This meeting was sought by the FAI to discuss the pressing challenges facing the organisation at this critical time.

“The Ministers’ preference was that the meeting would include the independent Chair and new independent directors. It is disappointing that those appointments have still not been made. Given the stated urgency, a meeting has been arranged with the FAI directors elected at the July 2019 AGM.”

Earlier this week, it emerged that members of the FAI have devised a proposal to split the organisation into two sections – one governing body with fewer responsibilities and another body looking after the grassroots, community and development side.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland yesterday, Ross said the government will “look at any suggestion” that comes forward.

“What we are doing at the moment is we are looking after the 2.9 million [euro] which we have been giving to the FAI,” Ross said. 

“We have withdrawn that funding and what we’re going to do there is we’re going to ensure that gets to the small clubs, we’re going to absolutely ensure that gets to the players, to the grassroots, but doesn’t go near the FAI.

On Tuesday, the FAI stated that it was unable to accept” an invitation to appear before an Oireachtas Committee this week.

A statement from the association says it wants to focus on “the refinancing package that will guarantee the future of the FAI and safeguard jobs” for now, meaning it won’t have time to attend the hearing.

The association added that it would be happy to appear before the Committee at a future date.

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