Minister for Sport Shane Ross has said the Football Association of Ireland requested €18m from the Government in a bailout deal. 

Speaking at the Oireachtas Sports Committee meeting today, Minister Ross described the request as "shocking".

He said they made it "absolutely clear they (FAI) would not get a bailout" from the Government. 

In a statement this evening, the FAI said it was "deeply disappointed" over the comments made at the committee.

Mr Ross also revealed that the Department of Sport will meet the Irish Rugby Football Union (IRFU) tomorrow to discuss the future of the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, with the €29m debt carried by the FAI on the stadium on the agenda.

This was in response to a question from Fianna Fáil TD Marc MacSharry, who queried if there was a possibility the IRFU could take total ownership of the stadium in return for potentially taking on the debt. 

The minister also stated that if the FAI was to go under, his "guess" would be that the League of Ireland would go with it.

Minister Brendan Griffin said the FAI's liabilities were €62 million, not €55 million, when funding and loans owed to UEFA are taken into account.

The future of the league will be among the topics discussed in a planned meeting between the Government and UEFA next month.

Meanwhile, FAI staff representatives met Mr Ross and Mr Griffin this evening to discuss the future of soccer in Ireland.

A spokesperson for the ministers described the meeting as positive.

They said the parties would meet again after the Government talks with UEFA. 

Earlier, it was revealed an independent audit of the FAI said the association was not fit to handle public funds.

The KOSI report was handed over to gardaí and the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement and was not shared with the Oireachtas Sports Committee.

However, Minister Ross told the committee that "while I have been advised that to share the full details of the KOSI auditors' findings would be unlawful, I can confirm that their opinion is that the FAI is not fit to handle public funds.

"They acknowledge that some steps have been taken to address shortcomings, but there is a steep mountain to climb before we can reinstate funding to the FAI."

Mr Ross continued: "I have also consulted with An Garda Síochána, who have advised me that matters outlined in the KOSI report are central to their investigations and those of the ODCE, and that to make the report public at this time could have serious implications for any criminal proceedings subsequently brought by the DPP."

Mr Ross said he was "dismayed" that the FAI did not appear at the committee to discuss its finances and governance, the second time it has refused the request in as many weeks.

The FAI declined another request to attend the Oireachtas Sports Committee to discuss its finances and governance because FAI officials, they said, needed to focus exclusively on the association's troubled finances, as well as promised governance reforms.

Earlier this month, its annual accounts showed current net liabilities of €55 million.

But Mr Ross said that he was frustrated that the FAI board still had not appointed a new independent chairperson, three new independent directors and an independent CEO.

He reiterated that no public funding will be provided to the FAI by his department or Sport Ireland until evidence is seen of real reform and a clean break with the previous regime at board and executive levels.

Mr Ross said they will continue to support grassroots football and said through Sport Ireland they have developed a scheme to support the players on the women's national team, where no public funds will be disbursed directly or indirectly to the FAI.

It has also put together a similar scheme to deliver support for the youth field sports programme, which will ensure continued support for 60 development officers throughout the country and the programmes that they deliver.

Sport Ireland has said an independent audit into the finances of the FAI that was recently referred to the gardaí shows that all taxpayers funding allocated between 2015 and 2018 was spent as intended.

The KOSI audit found that the consumption of Sport Ireland grants has been safely covered by FAI expenditure in the programme areas supported.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy told the committee that "the independent forensic KOSI audit has verified that taxpayer funding to the FAI, through Sport Ireland, was spent in line with the approved submissions and for the purposes it was given by Sport Ireland during the period 2015-2018".

"It is worth noting that KOSI's overall conclusion was similar to previous internal audits of the FAI completed on Sport Ireland's behalf in 2010, 2014 and 2016, which also found that Sport Ireland funding to the FAI was fully accounted for and expended for the purposes in which it was intended," Mr Treacy said.

Following consideration of the KOSI report, the board of Sport Ireland has agreed that the suspension and withholding of funding to the FAI remains in place.

Sport Ireland also said that it relied on the objective, independent professional judgment of the statutory auditors and that each year the FAI's financial statements were given a clean unqualified opinion by the external auditor Deloitte, which has been the association's auditor for 23 years.

"The audit opinion stated that the auditors had not identified any material misstatements, and that the financial statements, in the auditor's opinion, gave a "true and fair view" of the financial position of the FAI.

"But what is now clear from the filing of the H4 notice in April, and the re-stated and revised FAI Financial Statements that this was not the case," Mr Treacy told the committee.