FIFA and UEFA have written a letter to the FAI.
In the letter, the football governing bodies have expressed concerns over Shane Ross’s request for Donal Conway to withdraw his nomination to be re-elected president of the association.
Conway was nominated by FAI AGM members to continue in his role. Ross, the minister for transport, tourism and sport, asked Conway to withdraw his nomination and “allow for new leadership with credible reform credentials, in the best interests of football.”
This has prompted the world and European football bodies to intervene. FIFA and UEFA feel that this could be a case of third-party interference in the operations of the FAI, warning about “undue influence from any third party.”
The FAI released a statement on the letter, which reads:
The Secretary-General of FIFA, Fatma Samoura, and the General Secretary of UEFA, Theodore Theodoridis, have today written a joint-communique to the FAI General Manager Noel Mooney.
In their letter, FIFA and UEFA note that the Minister for Sport requested the FAI President Donal Conway to “withdraw [his] nomination for re-election at the upcoming [ordinary Congress] to allow for new leadership with credible reform credentials, in the best interests of football.”
The letter continues: “FIFA and UEFA are seriously concerned regarding the aforementioned statement from the Minister for Sport. In this context, we draw your attention to art. 14 par. 1 let. i), 14 par. 3 and art. 19 of the FIFA Statutes as well as to art. 7bis par. 2 and art. 9 par. 1bis let. d of the UEFA Statutes, which oblige all member associations, including the FAI, to manage their affairs independently and without undue influence from any third party.
“Failure to meet these obligations may lead to sanctions as provided for in the FIFA Statutes and UEFA Statutes respectively, including a possible suspension, even if the third party influence was not the fault of the member association concerned.
“In this context, we kindly request that you communicate the foregoing to the relevant authorities and keep us closely informed on further developments regarding the matter at hand. We thank you for taking note of the above.”
The letter to the FAI will be discussed by the Board of the Association at its meeting tomorrow in Meath ahead of the EGM at the Dunboyne Castle Hotel. The letter has been forwarded to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross.