John Delaney talks about FIFA, Thierry Henry and a row with Sepp Blatter 7 years ago

John Delaney talks about FIFA, Thierry Henry and a row with Sepp Blatter

John Delaney has confirmed that the FAI were paid €5m by FIFA not to pursue legal action over Thierry Henry's infamous handball in 2009.

Ireland were denied a place at the World Cup in South Africa when Henry, playing for France, twice controlled the ball with his hand before crossing for William Gallas to score the all-important winner in injury time.


Delaney was speaking to Ray D'Arcy on RTÉ radio and he had plenty of interesting things to say about FIFA, the Henry incident and whether he had ever accepted a bribe.


Delaney recalled a conversation he had with Sepp Blatter in 2009 after the Henry incident.


"In 2009 I called him an embarrassment to FIFA and to himself," he told D'Arcy. "He called me over about that, across the table like I am talking to you, with one or two expletives.

"That was in a room. He said, 'No-one speaks to me like that', and I said, 'well I do' and that was that."

He also told a story about how Blatter ogled his girlfriend Emma recently in Vienna.

"He met Emma, my partner, in Vienna recently," said Delaney. "He stared at her for seven or eight seconds and he said, "I approve of your new girlfriend.'"

"I asked him to move on, move on please.

"She is a great girl, I love her very much, it was an extraordinary moment. If she was here she would tell you herself. He stared at her and I said 'move on' and he did."