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Page last updated at 14:06 GMT, Tuesday, 19 October 2010 15:06 UK

Irish FA president Raymond Kennedy resigns his position


Irish FA president Raymond Kennedy resigns his position but Sports Minister Nelson McCausland wants more changes at the IFA before rubber-stamping a financial windfall

Irish FA president Raymond Kennedy has resigned from his position with immediate effect after losing an IFA ruling council vote of no-confidence.

Kennedy had indicated he would consider his position after the council passed the motion by 29-14 on Monday night.

Sports minister Nelson McCausland had said that £23m earmarked for football in Northern Ireland would not be handed over while Kennedy remained president.

The IFA will immediately put in motion a process to elect Kennedy's successor.

An IFA statement released on Tuesday afternoon said that Kennedy had "agreed with the wishes of the Council, as he always said he would do".

Kennedy will continue in his role on the Irish FA Council and will fulfil a small number of previously arranged engagements over the coming days.

"I have given over 50 years of service to football in Northern Ireland and I have enjoyed every minute," said the outgoing president. "It has been an honour and a privilege to represent the Association locally and internationally and I would like to wish the IFA all the best in the years ahead.

"I would like to thank the Council members, member clubs, the staff at the Irish FA and the football fans for the support they have given me in the past.

"I fully understand the concerns of all regarding the future funding and, as I have always maintained in the past, I will never put this in jeopardy."

Jim Shaw
Jim Shaw has received the backing of senior clubs

Kennedy was criticised by an independent report into the unfair dismissal of chief executive Howard Wells which cost the IFA £500,000.

That led to McCausland saying he could not approve government funding unless there were changes at the IFA.

"If I am to invest very large amounts of money - and we are talking about very large money here - not just in stadium development, but in other aspects of the sport, then it's important that the recipient of that money is a body fit for purpose," he said.

A statement released on behalf of the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure on Tuesday said "it is important that the confidence of government and the wider football community in the IFA is restored".

"I have asked for a radical, independent review of the organisation's structures and governance arrangements.

"Such a review will be essential in identifying the failings in the current arrangements - it is only when the problem has been identified that well informed solutions can be developed.

"The IFA has an obligation to all of us to get their house in order and they need to get started and move forward as a matter of urgency," said McCausland.

County Antrim FA official Terry Pateman was voted in as vice-president at Monday night's meeting, with Neil Jardine elected as treasurer.

Another County Antrim FA official, Jim Shaw, has received the backing of Premiership clubs to succeed Kennedy as president.

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see also
IFA meets to decide Kennedy fate
18 Oct 10 |  Irish
McCausland shows dismay at IFA
26 Aug 10 |  Northern Ireland
Kennedy set to quit IFA position
24 Aug 10 |  Irish
Pressure mounts on IFA president
22 Dec 09 |  Irish

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