Eight Questions for the Olympic Council of Ireland on Rio Ticketing

Discussion started by Rob Hartnett , on Monday, 22 August 2016 16:14

The Irish Government is to appoint a retired judge in the coming days to head an independent state inquiry into the ticketing allegations that have rocked Ireland’s reputation and left two irish citizens in Jail.

Six more have had their passports retained in Rio or are being sought to return to Rio to help with questioning.  These include John Delaney, the CEO of the Irish Football Association and a key player within UEFA.

The Olympic Council of Ireland is also to appoint one of PwC, Deloitte, EY, Grant Thornton or another international Accountancy firm to run its own investigation.

These are complex matters and care needs to be taken not to get in the way of the Brazilian criminal investigation but here are eight simple questions to which an answer might usefully be sought for starters.

1. What was the process of engagement for PRO10 to be put forward as the Authorised Ticket Reseller for the Olympic Council of Ireland?

2. What documents and narrative were supplied or vouched to the Rio 2016 Organising Committee who approved them?

3. Who managed the day to day relationship with the Authorised Ticket Reseller and was this relationship overseen by the Executive Committee of the OCI?

4. What was the money trail linking those who bought tickets and the money paid over to the Rio Organising Committee for those tickets?

5. How were the tickets marketed to buyers and how was communication undertaken to family and friends of the athletes taking part?

6. At what point was it decided that PRO10 would not be present on the ground in Rio and were the alternative arrangements for ticket collection made known to the Olympic Council of Ireland and the Rio Organising Committee?

7. What communication took place between President Pat Hickey and members of the Executive Council of the OCI between the arrest of Kevin Mallon in Rio and the meeting with Minister Shane Ross in Rio on Sunday August 14th.

8. What communication took place between members of the Olympic Council of Ireland and The Hospitality Group prior to their appointment to the same role for London 2012 and Sochi 2014, during the relationship and as it ended?

This only scratches the surface of questions that need to be asked and answered with regard to governance and management at the Olympic Council of Ireland in relation to public money.

Full disclosure of the documents submitted to attain €1.7 million of funding from Sport ireland (formerly the Irish Sports Council) should be made in order to satisfy public disquiet over their distribution and quickly in order that sport is not penalised excessively in the current negotiations around budget spending in 2017 and beyond.

It is though a starting point to answering how on earth this whole saga arose in the first place.

This article was first published on SportForBusiness.com, Ireland's leading source of business intelligence around the commercial world of sport.

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