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04th Jun 2015

FIFA issues statement after John Delaney’s radio interview on RTÉ today

The thick plottens

Tony Cuddihy

FIFA have responded to John Delaney’s claims that they paid the FAI €5m not to pursue legal action over Thierry Henry’s infamous handball in 2009.

Football’s governing body have been in a bit of bother of later, you may have read a thing or two about it, and now John Delaney has claimed that the FAI were paid to keep quiet and go away after missing out on a spot at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Now FIFA are claiming that the money was simply a loan to build a new stadium (the less said on THAT the better) but it was written off when Ireland failed to qualify for the finals.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - OCTOBER 20:  A man walks in front of the FIFA logo displayed outside the FIFA headquarters prior to the FIFA Executive Committee Meeting on October 20, 2011 in Zurich, Switzerland. During their third meeting of the year, held over two days, the FIFA Executive Committee will approve the match schedules for the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013 and the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.  (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

The FIFA statement reads: “While the Referee’s decision is final, and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) ultimately accepted it as such, in January 2010 FIFA entered into an agreement with FAI in order to put an end to any claims against FIFA.

“FIFA granted FAI a loan of $5 million for the construction of a stadium in Ireland.  At the same time, UEFA also granted the FAI funds for the same stadium.

“The terms agreed between FIFA and the FAI were that the loan would be reimbursed if Ireland qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Ireland did not so qualify.  Because of this, and in view of the FAI’s financial situation, FIFA decided to write off the loan as per 31 December 2014.”

Delaney made no mention of a loan on RTÉ Radio earlier.

“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,” Delaney told Ray D’Arcy.

“You’ve put a figure out there [€5 million] and fair play to you. It was a payment to the association not to proceed with a legal case. And 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.”