By David Sneyd
FAI president Donal Conway has rowed back on initial claims that the body doesn't have a contingency plan should the 78 recommendations put forward by the Sport Ireland/FAI Governance Review Group fail to pass at Saturday's EGM.
Speaking at FAI headquarters earlier today, Conway insisted that their Plan B is to continue using the current rulebook should the delegates fail vote in a two-thirds majority.
Implementing these recommendations was described by Sport Ireland chief executive John Treacy as the first significant step required to restore their funding, and Conway has revealed there is now a plan in place should the delegates reject the plans.
However, the president was adamant that the idea of a FIFA Normalisation Committee taking day-to-day control of the FAI, with the national team unable to compete in competition, would be "a disaster" and feels such drastic measures will not be needed.
"We have a Plan A and Plan B. I don’t go talking to the members about a Plan B because I want Plan A. There is a Plan B, can I just say to you there is a Plan B. If the rules don’t pass we know what we have to do.
"If we don’t adopt new rules are old rules dictate what we can do. If we don’t get through the EGM and adopt this report," Conway said.
"I have looked in great detail at normalisation. That would be an absolute disaster for this association. I know it’s talked about but it would be.
"You tell your members tomorrow, ‘you don’t play international football’. That would be a disaster. There would be no normalisation, in my view, but to what extent I will be engaged in this ongoing work.
"The word solidarity is a word used by both FIFA and UEFA and it means something. So, that stakeholder will work in conjunction with the FAI.
"Normalisation is not Plan B. Plan B is we’re governed by the old rules.
"We are governed by our old rules, we can reconstitute the board. I’m emphasising very strongly, this [governance review] has been broadly recommended. This is the first key step [to restoring funding]."