Probe launched into Football Association of Ireland

An independent report into the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) is to be referred to An Garda Síochána, the police service of the Republic of Ireland. 

An investigation into four officials of the FAI has been launched after a forensic audit of the FAI’s accounts suggested financial impropriety.

The investigation follows revelations earlier this year that former Chief Executive, John Delaney, had given a €100,000 loan to the Association. Mr Delaney later resigned from the Association.

The FAI has said it would fully cooperate with any investigation by the Garda and insisted that “all Government money allocated to the FAI by Sport Ireland was spent appropriately”.

However, there are growing concerns that Delaney failed to use his credit card appropriately, failed to control his personal expenses and made a series of payments from FAI funds that were not in the ordinary course of FAI business.

Now it has been revealed that a special task force of financial investigators, tax experts and forensic accountants from the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB) has been assembled by the Garda to investigate the FAI’s affairs.

The investigation will seek to establish whether the Association met its obligations under the Companies Act and whether it was run in accordance with its constitution.

When an organisation is being investigated, every action it has made is inspected, not just the flow of money. Forensic investigators will scrutinise the personal transactions of anyone suspected of wrongdoing and will conduct interviews with colleagues, as well as examining phone records and emails.

Roger Isaacs, Forensic Partner at Milsted Langdon, said: “Investigations such as these can take months to pull together and if they make it to court, the forensic specialists will likely be required to act as an expert witness.

“From the start to the end of an investigation forensic accountants play a vital role, with prosecutions often hinging on the evidence they provide. To find out more about our forensic services, please get in contact with us.”