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Front page of today’s Irish Sun

This morning.

In The Irish Sun.

Neil Cotter and Adam Higgins have reported that former CEO of FAI John Delaney secured World Cup final tickets for one of the members of the Oireachtas sports committee, Fianna Fail TD Kevin O’Keeffe.

The committee is scheduled to question Mr  Delaney and other senior FAI members about FAI’s governance in April.

Mr Cotter and Mr Higgins reported:

It’s understood the Cork TD met Delaney while out socialising last year and asked him about the possibility of landing tickets to the showpiece event in Moscow on July 15.

The then-FAI Chief Executive managed to bag two passes for the Fianna Fail sports spokesperson who paid the full price of €903 each for them.

Speaking to the Irish Sun, O’Keeffe said he didn’t see a problem with getting tickets from Delaney and asked: “How (else) would I get a World Cup final ticket?

The report follows a separate report in The Sunday Times at the weekend in which Fine Gael TD Noel Rock claimed that he had been told that FAI had been briefing against him “including saying that he had sought complimentary tickets for Ireland’s game against Austria in Vienna in November 2016”.

Mr Rock said he attended the match as a guest of the taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who was minister for social protection at the time and that he has never sought or received complimentary tickets from the FAI.

Mr Rock:

“These bullying tactics have served some well in the past. They should not distract from the significant governance issues in the FAI.”

Further to this…

Eoin (from comments) asks:

The Deputy Kevin O’Keeffe story comes after Deputy Noel Rock says the FAI were briefing against him after he called for Delaney’s departure. Noel thinks the FAI is suggesting he was only after complimentary tickets. Just how many members of the Oireachtas sports committee have had ticket dealings with the FAI? It’s beginning to whiff of sleaze.

Fianna Fail TD Kevin O’Keeffe who is on Dail committee bought World Cup Final tickets through under-fire FAI chief John Delaney (Neil Cotter, Adam Higgins, The Irish Sun)

FAI chief John Delaney steps aside amid financial queries (Mark Tighe, The Sunday Times)

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15 thoughts on “Ask A Broadsheet Reader

  1. eoin

    There’s potentially far more to this story than is reported in the Sun.

    According to news reports at the time of the games in Moscow last year, the €903 face value [category one] tickets for the final were selling on the black market for “up to $105,000” (€90,000). That’s one hell of a potential benefit and Deputy O’Keeffe got not one but two tickets. It’s a bit rich for him to say today that he paid face value and not address the massive premium that existed in the secondary market for those tickets.

    “Of course, as the final game approaches, the cost of a ticket has skyrocketed. According to Reuters, tickets are now being resold for around $2,500 and according to, category one seats can reach up to $105,000 on resale sites.”

    1. Brother Barnabas

      would be interesting to know who got tickets and whether they actually attended – or did they sell them on

      1. henry

        I always remember the old days when Charlton was manager and the fever for Irish soccer
        I always remember all we heard about was a small quota of tickets for Irish fans
        Was there really a small allocation or a case of tickets off loaded like the rio Olympic debacle

        Maybe a massive in depth audit is conducted on the FAI and their boards personal bank accounts

        I find it amazing a person on his salary had to rent a house
        And the FAI not being able to get a lone and he stumped it up

        Also what rate of interest was put on that loan

        Serious questions must be asked and he cannot be allowed off the hook

        1. Keeping Meself Ready for Frilly Keane

          Not him H

          The other 10 Directors need to be hauled in
          And given a hiding
          They are responsible for his terms of engagement and perks and what have ya’s
          10 other Directors

          Plus Deloittes

          Ye want to know why this keeps happening?
          ’cause yere all too busy being dazzled by the tabloid distractions

          There were 10 other Directors responsible for the strategy governance and financial probity and wellbeing of the FAI
          And a firm of Auditors reported that twas all grand

  2. Dr.Fart MD

    that response from O’Keefe sums up Fianna Fail (and most irish politicians) perfectly. “How (else) would I get a World Cup final ticket?” .. the two things he just absolutely does not see is (1) they’re not rightfully his, he doesn’t have some entitlement to get tickets. Tickets that could have been given to someone either more deserving, or someone who would put them to use somehow to the betterment of irish sport. not just some FF TD who just, wants, to go. (2) how else? so ill-gotten means aren’t off the table, if corruption is the only way, then he will do that. this quote was probably the only honest thing an irish politician has said in years.

  3. Keeping Meself Ready for Frilly Keane

    What’s the question?

    Btw. The TD paid face value so didn’t put money into any racketeering carry-on

    And whether ye like to know this or not
    It would be the function of the CEO of any sporting organisation to lobby canvas liaise
    What have ya
    With Politicans and Snr Advisors/ Dept Officials and External Quangos within that particular brief: Sport and Tourism

    So what was the question

      1. Keeping Meself Ready for Frilly Keane

        I absolutely do Get It

        Someone wanted WC final tickets
        And approached the head of World Cup Soccer’s affiliate here
        A man with direct connection to WC activity as he also has a job with that organisation

        That someone paid FACE VALUE
        Which he is required to do
        Did he, this background Politican go and sell them on in the bootleg tout market?

        Did the then CEO of the FAI seek to influence that Politican ?
        Now maybe that is the question
        But it will be argued, and rightly argued,
        That that is part of the CEOs function

        This is a distraction story

        Where the eff are Deloittes?
        How come an employee had to sub the FAI to make payroll?
        How come the full details regarding this employee director’s full emoluments/ renumeration package was not fully disclosed?

        Now there’s a few questions for ya

        1. papa p

          Can I ask the CEO to get me WC final tickets and pay face value for them when they’re sold out?
          And if so how do I contact him?

          1. eoin

            + €180,000 (the difference between the face value of the tickets,€1,806, and the “up to $105,000” that they were fetching EACH on the secondary market)

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