, (Reuters) - Former Football Association of Ireland (FAI) boss John Delaney left the governing body completely on Saturday after being on gardening leave for months amid probes into the association’s corporate governance practices, the FAI said.
Delaney has been at the centre of a series of scandals surrounding the FAI since the Sunday Times newspaper reported in March that he provided it with a personal loan two years ago to help with what the FAI called a short-term cash flow issue.
He was initially moved to a newly created role of executive vice-president after the loan, which the FAI said was a one-off and was fully repaid, was first reported and offered weeks later to leave completely pending the investigations.
The FAI said in a statement released late on Saturday night that Delaney had resigned with immediate effect following talks and that it would fulfil certain notice and pension obligations as agreed between the parties.
Delaney, who had led the association since 2005 and remains a member of the executive committee of European soccer body UEFA, faced heavy criticism from fans, players and politicians, including Ireland’s prime minister, for his role in the controversies.
Ireland’s state corporate watchdog began legal proceedings against the FAI in May after the association acknowledged it had broken state funding rules and its auditors said the 98-year-old association’s accounts were not being properly kept, contravening two sections of Irish company law.
The FAI’s state funding was also suspended and audit firm Mazars has been undertaking a separate investigation into it, including into board expenses and payments to third parties.
Writing by Padraic Halpin in Kobe, Japan; Editing by Stephen Coates