Report: FIFA Paid FAI $5 Million Over Thierry Henry Handball

Staff Writer

A FIFA spokesman has confirmed to the New York Times Irish FA President John Delaney’s statement that it was paid $5 million to not protest Thierry Henry’s handball during the second leg of the 2010 World Cup Qualifying Playoff in 2009.

FIFA told the Times that the payment came in the form of a loan made to help the FAI build a new stadium. The agreement stated that the federation would pay back the loan if it qualified for the 2014 World Cup. Ireland failed to do so and FIFA wrote off the loan on December 31, 2014, citing the FAI’s financial situation.

“While the referee’s decision is final, and the Football Association of Ireland ultimately accepted it as such, in January 2010 FIFA entered into an agreement with F.A.I. in order to put an end to any claims against FIFA,” the statement said.

Delaney had led calls for the Second Leg to be replayed in the aftermath of the incident which led to France scoring the decisive goal in the tie. He also called on Ireland to be included as an unprecedented 33rd team in that tournament, a statement that FIFA President Sepp Blatter rubbished. At the time Delaney was only concerned about righting the referee’s wrong.

“It’s not about money,” Delaney said in November 2009. “This is about sporting integrity.”

Delaney felt that the FAI had a strong legal case against FIFA at the time and confirmed with RTE that the payment was made to convince the federation “not to proceed with the legal case.” He said the FAI and FIFA reached an agreement less than a week after the match.

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

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  • E cel mai cuprinzator articol despre Report: FIFA Paid FAI $5
    Million Over Thierry Henry Handball. Bravo!

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