SportSoccer

FAI chief John Delaney lands another prime role

Delaney adds another €100,000 a year to his annual income
Delaney adds another €100,000 a year to his annual income

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney has been voted onto UEFA's executive committee for the first time, while former Manchester United chief executive David Gill has been re-elected.

The pair were among 11 candidates up for election at UEFA's 41st congress in Helsinki on Wednesday, with eight seats up for grabs.

Delaney received the second highest number of votes with 48, two fewer than Sweden's Karl-Erik Nilsson, while Gill came sixth with 40 votes from UEFA's 55 member associations.

But Football Association of Wales vice-president Kieran O'Connor, a relative newcomer to European football politics, was unsuccessful in his bid for an ExCo place, finishing last with only 11 votes.

The five other successful candidates were former Juventus and Poland star Zbigniew Boniek, German FA president Reinhard Grindel, Italian FA director Michele Uva, Dutch FA president Michael van Praag and Turkey's Servet Yardimci. They will serve four-year terms.

The congress also approved the plan for Grindel to complete the final two years of compatriot Wolfgang Niersbach's term on FIFA's council - Niersbach was banned last year by world football's governing body for wrongdoing in relation to the 2006 World Cup.

Joining Grindel on FIFA's top table will be Sandor Csyani of Hungary, Cypriot Costakis Koutsokoumnis and Montenegro's Dejan Savicevic after the trio were elected to four-year terms by proclamation as they were the only three candidates for four available places. A further vote for the fourth seat will be held later this year.

Delaney's elevation in status within European football comes only a day after the Republic of Ireland's women's team threatened to strike, claiming they have been forced to get changed in public toilets and share tracksuits with men's junior teams.

The 49-year-old Irishman, who is already one of the best-paid football officials in European football, has so far refused to answer questions from journalists about the stand-off.

Earlier on Wednesday, the congress also unanimously approved UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin's governance reforms which include term limits for ExCo members and the rule that every member should play an active role in the national association they represent.

European football's assembled chiefs also heard about UEFA's record turnover of almost £4billion in 2015/16 and were told they would all be receiving an extra one million euros (£860,000) as a one-off "solidarity payment".

Ceferin, who was elected last September, also delivered a strong and wide-ranging speech that restated his intentions to defend the interest of smaller countries and leagues and step up efforts on child protection.