CEO Message to Football Family
Over the past number of weeks, the Olympic Council of Ireland Rio Olympics ticketing issue has dominated the headlines and a number of serious allegations were made by a section of the Irish media suggesting involvement and wrong doing on my behalf. These allegations arose out of events in Brazil, in particular the issuing of a warrant against my passport by the Brazilian authorities. As everyone should now be aware, this warrant was subsequently withdrawn, 10 days ago. In fact, the Brazilian police have never made any contact with me in relation to this issue.
When the issue of the warrant was first publicised in Brazil, certain media outlets took the opportunity to make the most serious and defamatory allegations against me. My role as CEO of the FAI, it seemed, led to a significantly prominent positioning of this inaccurate and high profile reporting. These matters are now in the hands of my legal advisers and so I cannot comment further on them other than to confirm that I had no knowledge of or involvement in anything to do with tickets for the Rio games.
I am the FAI's nominee on the OCI Executive Committee. This committee is the Board of OCI and comprises 13 people from a range of different sports and in common with most of the members of the Executive Committee, my role does not involve me in the day-to-day operations of the OCI.
As an Executive Committee member, I refrained from engaging publicly on OCI matters as it would not have been appropriate for me to publicly comment on or discuss sensitive or confidential OCI Board matters and I will continue to be bound by that confidentiality. My priority as an OCI board member, along with my colleagues, was to ensure that all proper steps were put in place to ensure that the OCI addressed the important issues it faced correctly, including ensuring that proper and appropriate expert advice was taken on the various issues. It was also imperative the committee initially gained a full understanding and knowledge of the facts and seriousness of the situation presented to us to allow the Executive Committee members implement the correct course of action of investigation and resolve. The OCI has now appointed Arthur Cox (solicitors), Deloitte and Grant Thornton to review and enquire into matters raised and these appointments are very much to be welcomed. Furthermore, the OCI has committed to its co-operation with the Government enquiry led by Justice Carroll Moran.
I want to again assure the football family that:
- The Brazilian police have never contacted me in relation to any aspect of OCI business and a Brazilian Judge has withdrawn a warrant previously issued for my passport.
- I had absolutely no role or involvement in the OCI's handling of ticketing arrangements for the RIO Olympic Games and no knowledge or awareness of PRO 10 or its position as the OCI’s Ticket Reseller. This appointment was not brought to the OCI Board’s attention.
- As a volunteer Board member which is not a day-to-day role and due to my primary role and football commitments, I was in a position to attend only 5 of the 13 Board meetings prior to the Rio Olympics.
- The OCI has committed its cooperation to the various reviews and investigations taking place and as an Executive Committee member I completely support all such enquiries and will play my part fully in all these matters.
As previously stated my primary role and absolute priority is the continued development and growth of football in Ireland in my role as CEO of the FAI. In the coming period, I will also reconsider my position as the FAI’s volunteer member of the OCI Executive Committee.
I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your continued support.