FAI Faces Setback as General Assembly Rejects Proposal for Increased Female Board Representation
In a crucial decision, the General Assembly of the FAI voted against a proposed constitutional change aimed at accommodating two additional female candidates on the board. This move was intended to fulfill the memorandum of understanding between the Government and the FAI, which mandated a 40% female representation on the board by the end of the current year.
Under the terms of the 2020 association bailout, a key stipulation was the achievement of a 40% female presence on the FAI board. However, the proposed constitutional change, presented during Thursday night’s Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), failed to secure the necessary 75% majority, putting at risk €4.3 million in state funding.
Board Restructuring Proposal:
Delegates were tasked with voting on proposed alterations to the board structure, aiming to increase the total number of members to 14. The suggested seven/seven split between football members and independents was designed to meet the crucial gender quota, ensuring eligibility for state funding.
Notably, a counter proposal from the Leinster FA, suggesting the addition of two female directors to the board—one each from the amateur and professional football constituencies—was not formally presented during the meeting.
In response to the rejection, the FAI has expressed its intention to reflect on the decision. A revised position is anticipated, with the General Assembly slated to review the updated proposal at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled for December 9th. The FAI’s ability to secure state funding and navigate the gender representation mandate remains a focal point of attention.
An FAI statement read: “The FAI confirms that at tonight’s EGM, the General Assembly voted against the proposed constitutional change to allow two additional female candidates to join the FAI Board.
“The required 75% majority to pass the proposal was not reached. The proposed change was put forward to address the current gender balance gap on the Board and the FAI’s intention to be compliant with the Government’s directive to have 40% gender representation on its Board by the end of the year.
“The FAI Board will now reflect on the decision, work through the next steps, and have a revised position for the General Assembly to review at the December 9th AGM. It remains the FAI’s firm position to achieve the required 40% female representation on the Board.”