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Shane Ross says Ireland can be friends with the OCI again following ticket deal cancellation

In August it emerged that the OCI was locked into a “pretty watertight” contract with THG.

Rio Olympic Games 2016 - Day Four Tickets from the 2016 Rio games. Source: Martin Rickett/PA

Updated 20.30

MINISTER FOR SPORT Shane Ross says that the cancellation of the Olympic Council of Ireland’s (OCI) deal with ticket provider THG is “a very welcome development”.

Earlier today, the OCI officially cancelled its contract with THG, a deal which was previously described as being “pretty watertight”.

The cancellation comes after mediation between the parties and sees an agreement to provide tickets for the next five games torn up.

“The termination of this contract is a very welcome development,” Ross said this evening.

ross 769 copy_90526282 Shane Ross Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

“Subject to other matters in the (Moran Inquiry) report being addressed satisfactorily, particularly corporate governance recommendations, we are now close to a position where we can restore normal funding arrangements so that the athletes will be top priority.”

Preparations for Tokyo 2020 must be the focus of attention for the OCI, Sport Ireland, the National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Earlier, the OCI itself said in a statement:

“Following a mediation carried out by former Supreme Court Judge Mr Justice Finnegan, THG and the Olympic Council of Ireland wish to announce that they have reached an agreement to terminate the contracts agreed between the parties in 2016 that relate to the 2018-2026 Olympic Games.

“OCI accepts that these contracts were enforceable as between the parties and that THG fully intended performing its contractual obligations.

Both parties agreed that with THG reducing its business activities in Ireland that this would be the most appropriate course of action in the interests of Irish athletes and the wider Irish public.

“THG has been the OCI’s most significant commercial partner since coming on board in 2010. The OCI wishes to acknowledge THG’s willingness to reach an amicable resolution in this matter.”

THG – owned by the Marcus Evans Group – was the Authorised Ticket Reseller (ATR) for Ireland during the 2012 London Games and the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In August it emerged that the OCI was locked into a “pretty watertight” contract with THG which gives the company ticket reselling rights for the 2018, 2020, 2022, 2024 and 2026 Olympic and Winter Olympic Games.

Controversy engulfed Irish sport last August when then OCI president Pat Hickey and Kevin Mallon of THG were arrested in Rio as part of an investigation into an alleged ticket touting scandal.

Justice Carroll Moran’s report into the distribution of tickets for the Rio Olympics made no findings on whether any laws had been broken. Legal proceedings involving THG and Hickey are currently ongoing in Brazil. Both deny any wrongdoing.

Additional reporting Cianan Brennan

Comments are closed due to ongoing legal proceedings

Read: OCI to meet for first time since publication of report into Rio ticketing scandal

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