Cleat Geeks

FIFA made payment to Irish FA after Henry handball

John Delaney, chief executive of the Irish Football Association (FAI), has today said that FIFA made a payment to the FAI following Thierry Henry’s handball goal against the Irish in a World Cup play-off.

The payment was made to prevent the FAI from pursuing a legal case to be reinstated to the 2010 World Cup.

“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 1.


The amount football’s governing body paid to the Irish FA is reported as being $5million in the Irish media.

Ireland hoped to be allowed to compete at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as a 33rd team, an idea that Sepp Blatter rejected out of hand.

“The way Blatter behaved, if you remember on stage, having a snigger and having a laugh at us,” Delaney continued. “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 from naming the figure.”

FIFA is currently in the midst of a corruption scandal that has seen 14 current or former officials indicted by the FBI on wire fraud, bribery, racketeering and money laundering charges.

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