The chief executive of the Irish FA has claimed that Fifa gave the organisation a reported €5million not to take legal action in 2009 after Thierry Henry’s infamous handball, which led to France going to the World Cup at Ireland’s expense.
Allegations of widespread corruption and bribery within Fifa, football’s most powerful governing body, have been mounting in recent weeks, with president Sepp Blatter resigning, saying he did not feel he ‘had a mandate from the entire world of football.’
And speaking to RTE Radio 1 today, John Delaney, the chief executive of the Football Association of Ireland, said that a figure reported to be €5million was paid by Fifa to the FAI following a meeting between him and Blatter in 2009.
The payment was allegedly made after Mr. Delaney said he was considering legal action in the wake of Thierry Henry’s handball against Ireland, which led to the goal that sent France through to the World Cup at.
‘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,’ he told RTE.
‘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.’
He added: ‘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.’