The FAI have introduced a new measure to limit terms for members of its board of management to eight years.

FAI CEO John Delaney will be exempt from the new term limits.

The limit was introduced at an Extraordinary General Meeting today to bring the body into compliance with the Governance Code endorsed by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

Under the new rules, Honorary Secretary Michael Cody and Honorary Treasurer Eddie Murray are not eligible for re-election, while four further members of the Board will see their terms finished within the next four years.

As part of the rule changes, and in order to avoid an immediate loss of experience and expertise from the Board, any Board member who is the Chairperson of a Standing Committee or the National League Executive Committee and has served for more than 10 years on the Board, may be re-elected for up to four years.

John Delaney said: “The introduction of new term limits is a step forward for Irish football. The EGM showed that the Board and members fully endorse the need for change.

“While the maximum term limit in the Governance Code is nine-year term limits, it was felt that eight years accurately reflected the appropriate amount of time for our Board members to serve and to ensure that we did not lose their expertise and experience immediately but have a thought-out succession-planning process.”

They also introduced a new rule regarding the misconduct of players and officials towards match officials following recommendations made by a Referees Working Group.

In order to safeguard match officials from misconduct, which can include foul, insulting or abusive language, obstruction, assault, and disparaging remarks made on personal social media platforms, new sanctions will be imposed. The Association has also introduced increased minimum sanctions for serious assaults.

Chairman of Referee’s Committee Gerard Perry said: “We very much welcome this integrated approach between the Association and its affiliates on a very serious matter. There is clearly a common desire to stamp out any form aggressive behaviour towards match officials and that has been indicted by the rule being introduced by the Association.”

President of Irish Soccer Referees’ Society Paul O’Brien said: “We would like to thank John Delaney and the FAI for, firstly, listening to us, then establishing the Working Group, then bringing it to the members to vote on, and for the members to pass it. These new measures are an appropriate response to ongoing issues and will act as a deterrent to any potential assaults and abuse towards referees.”

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