The Taoiseach has criticised the appearance of the former FAI chief executive John Delaney at a meeting of the Oireachtas Committee on Sport.

In his first public comment since Mr Delaney's appearance before the committee on Wednesday, Leo Varadkar said he doesn't think anybody would be satisfied by Mr Delaney's refusal to answer questions about corporate governance at the FAI during his tenure as chief executive.

Speaking in Cork, Mr Varadkar said while John Delaney was within his legal rights not to answer questions about the €100,000 loan - which he says he gave the association - the public, tax payers and football fans would have wanted those questions answered.

Mr Varadkar said Mr Delaney was not a public servant and therefore was not accountable to the Oireachtas Committee on Sport. But he said Mr Delaney and the FAI were accountable to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and to Sport Ireland, and those bodies still had questions which had to be answered.

Mr Varadkar said the Government wants funding to be restored to the FAI so it can flow again to local clubs, to women's sport and to young people, but the questions would have to be answered first.

Earlier, UEFA said it is "aware of the situation" regarding the FAI and former chief executive John Delaney, however it added that it had "no comment to make."

UEFA issued the statement via email in response to a number of questions asking for its views on recent revelations about corporate governance at the FAI.

It comes as the majority of adult soccer league clubs are indicating that change is needed on the Board of the FAI, in an email survey conducted in the wake of the controversy over finances at the Assocation.

The country's largest adult soccer league sent an email to all of its clubs asking if the board of the FAI should resign.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, chair of the Leinster Senior League David Moran said the responses received so far are not positive for the FAI.

He said members are looking for fresh ideas and ways to restore public confidence in football in Ireland, so that Sport Ireland will continue to fund the sport.

"Basically they're saying they're not confident after what they've seen over the last couple of weeks. They're not confident in the direction that the FAI board is taking this," he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, meanwhile, said today that following events in recent days concerns remain.

Speaking on behalf of Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State Brendan Griffin, the spokesman said both Ministers will brief the Joint Oireachtas Committee members next week on the ongoing situation.

FAI sponsors Three and New Balance have urged the association to implement whatever recommendations are put forward by their Grant Thornton and Mazars reviews.

"As primary sponsor of the Irish national football team and all international squads, our focus is on promoting the game of football for fans and our customers right across the country," said Three in a statement.

"Corporate governance is of upmost importance at Three and we expect the same from all partners we work with.

"We note that the FAI has commissioned two reports to review recent matters and we expect all recommendations to be implemented." 

Kit suppliers New Balance echoed that call: "Regarding yesterday’s Oireachtas Committee meeting, we note with interest that the FAI has commissioned various reports to review recent financial and corporate governance matters and we urge the FAI to implement all recommendations as soon as possible." 

SSE Airtricity is another major sponsor and it said it has been a proud supporter of Irish football for the past ten years and promoting the sport at league and national level remains its focus.

It said that its monitoring the current developments and that as part of normal business activity, they discuss matters with the FAI at regular intervals and will discuss the current matters with the association at their next meeting, which is due to take place in the coming weeks. 

Bus Éireann has also released a statement saying its the official bus travel partner of the FAI and as with all partnerships it will continue to discuss and review its association on an ongoing basis,

Ford said its partnership with the FAI is important to the company and that it is particularly proud that its vehicle sponsorship is making a significant contribution to grass roots soccer in Ireland, but made no commmet about the recent events. 

Aviva said it would be making no comment on the recent events.

IPRO Sport, a UK-based manufacturer of recovery drinks, has supplied products to 26 clubs in Ireland for the past two years.

It said its not aware of what is going on, only hearing about it through various media queries, but said it feels it would be wrong to deprive the clubs it supplies of products because of what is going on at head office.


Additional Reporting Samantha Libreri