DUBLIN: John Delaney, chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, has become the focus of controversy over a €100,000 loan he had provided to the Republic game’s governing body in 2017.

Delaney sought to keep the issue secret but failed in a court dispute with The Times.

Now he will appear before a parliamentary committee on April 3 to be questioned about the loan which, according to the FAI, was repaid in full two months later..

Delaney said in a statement it was the only time he had provided such a loan.

Now Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has become involved after responding to a question by saying: “It does seem a bit unusual, a body of that size, given its operations and the funding it receives.

“I would have thought it would have banking facilities that would have provided for a loan,” he told reporters.

Sport Ireland, a state-funded coordination body, said the FAI had not notified it at any stage about a deterioration in its finances, as it would have been obliged to do.

The FAI accounts for 2017 showed a surplus of €2.8m on revenues of €49m. There was no mention of Delaney’s loan.

Delaney has been FAI ceo since 2005 and a member of the executive committee of European governing body UEFA for two years.