Delaney offers to leave FAI role amid financial controversy

FILE - In this file photo dated Saturday, Nov. 9, 2013, Republic of Ireland's FAI chief executive John Delaney speak to the media in Dublin, Ireland. Delaney offered to step aside from his newly created role as executive vice president of the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) amid fallout from a financial controversy, The federation said Monday April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Peter Morrison, FILE)

DUBLIN — John Delaney has offered to step aside from his newly created role in the Football Association of Ireland amid fallout from a financial controversy.

It jeopardizes Delaney's job in UEFA's executive committee, with German official Reinhard Grindel having resigned from his role as vice president of European soccer's governing body last week for missteps leading his country's soccer federation .

Grindel, who also left his role as a FIFA Council member, said he was stepping down from his positions to "protect UEFA's reputation" and so he "did not burden FIFA's path toward more transparency and good governance."

Delaney loaned 100,000 euros ($113,000) to the FAI in 2017 when he was chief executive of the association, and he went to court last month to unsuccessfully block publication of a story giving details.

Delaney, whose actions were questioned by politicians and sports authorities in Ireland, was handed a new role of executive vice president of the FAI.

The federation said Monday that Delaney had "offered to voluntarily step aside from carrying out his role as executive vice president with immediate effect pending the completion of an independent investigation by the association into issues of concern to the board."

The FAI didn't say whether it had accepted Delaney's resignation.

Two other officials, honorary secretary Michael Cody and treasurer Eddie Murray, have resigned.

Sport Ireland, the body that distributes money to sporting organizations in the country, said it was suspending funding of 1.35 million euros ($1.5 million) to the FAI because it had not informed them about Delaney's loan.

An anti-Delaney protest by fans of Ireland's national team last month saw a hail of tennis balls thrown on the field to interrupt a European Championship qualifying game in Dublin.

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