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FAI chief sidesteps Ross plea on change of regime; Funds fear after Conway re-election.

Byline: LIZ FARSACI and PAUL O'HEHIR

DONAL Conway was yesterday re-elected unopposed as FAI president in a move Shane Ross described as "disappointing".

The Sports Minister had previously called for a "complete and utter" regime change at board level.

And the future of the body, which has been rocked by ongoing financial scandals, could be in doubt as questions remain over whether it will receive Government funding again.

Mr Conway was re-elected by 134 votes at the FAI's AGM in Trim, Co Meath, with just five in opposition and one abstention.

Paul Cooke was appointed Vice-President, beating Gerry McAnaney on a count of 80 votes to 57.

Former VP Noel Fitzroy had intended to run against them but withdrew his name at the last minute.

Addressing AGM delegates, Mr Fitzroy said: "It's devastating to me personally but I make the decision in the best interests of the FAI."

He stepped aside as John Earley returned to the board having only last month resigned in protest.

I Had Mr Fitzroy run, Mr Earley's return would have meant the FAI was in breach of the Governance Review Report which recommended only one or two of the previous board members sit on the new one.

Meanwhile, Mr Conway told the AGM yesterday he wants to honour the document, which was approved by Sports Ireland and FIFA.

But the FAI's future could still be in doubt as Minister Ross has previously said funding will not be forthcoming unless there is a complete regime change.

In the wake of scandals involving the body and former chief John Delaney that broke in March and April this year, the Government withdrew funding.

The association has received almost [euro]50million from the State in the past 10 years.

Last night, Minister Ross admitted Mr Conway's re-election was "disappointing".

He told RTE Mr Conway had promised back in April to step down from the board.

In a column last week in the Sunday Independent, the Sports Minister insisted the Government will not offer financial support to the FAI as long as it continues to breach acceptable governance norms.

He urged board members to step aside and allow new personalities to bring change and transparency.

Mr Ross told RTE News last week: "I want a complete and utter change at the top of the FAI."

news@irishmirror.ie Sports Ross

134 Number of votes for Donal Conway to be re-elected as FAI chief I want complete and utter change at the top of the FAI MINISTER SHANE ROSS on rte news last week

CAPTION(S):

STORM FAI's AGM in Co Meath yesterday

ULTIMATUM Sports Minister Shane Ross

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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Jul 28, 2019
Words:437
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