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FIFA paid FAI compensation over Henry handball – Delaney

John Delaney has admitted that FIFA made a payment to the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to prevent the possibility of legal action after the national team controversially missed out on the 2010 World Cup.

The Republic of Ireland were denied a place in the finals when William Gallas headed in an extra-time equaliser in the November 2009 play-off fixture, with officials missing a clear handball from Thierry Henry.

Ireland were dumped out on aggregate as France progressed, with FIFA rejecting requests from the FAI for the game to be replayed.

But it has long since been believed that the world governing body awarded the FAI some financial compensation, thought to be in the region of €5million, in order to bring an end to the matter.

FAI chief executive Delaney’s revelations come amid the corruption scandal that has rocked FIFA and just two days after Sepp Blatter’s shock decision to resign as president.

“We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup play-off hadn’t worked out for us with the Henry handball,” Delaney told RTE Radio.

“Also the way Blatter behaved, if you remember on stage, having a snigger and having a laugh at us. That day when I went in, and I told him how I felt about him, there were some expletives used. We came to an agreement.

“That was a Thursday and on Monday the agreement was all signed and all done. It’s a very good agreement for the FAI and a very legitimate agreement for the FAI. I’m bound by confidentiality for naming the figure.

“You’ve put a figure out there and fair play to you. It was a payment to the association to not proceed with a legal case. In there they signed a confidentiality agreement where I can’t talk about the amount involved.

“You used a figure there, well done to you, but it was a very good and legitimate deal for the FAI.”

Thu 4 Jun, 2015
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