FIFA discloses Ireland was paid $5 mln not to launch legal case over Henry’s handball

FIFA paid Irelandand’s FA (FAI) $5 million to avoid a legal case over a controversial World Cup playoff defeat in 2009, world footballand’s governing body has confirmed.
Ireland was knocked out by France in a two-legged playoff to qualify for the 2010 South Africa tournament, with the decisive goal in the second leg coming after a handball by French striker Thierry Henry in extra time.
With moral outrage over the goal in Ireland and beyond growing, world footballand’s governing body came to a financial agreement with the FAI not to proceed with legal action.
FIFA said on Thursday it gave the FAI a loan that would have been paid back had Ireland qualified for the 2014 World Cup.
and”In January 2010 FIFA entered into an agreement with FAI in order to put an end to any claims against FIFA,and” it said in a statement.
and”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.
and”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.
and”Because of this, and in view of the FAIand’s financial situation, FIFA decided to write off the loan as per 31 December 2014.and”
Former Arsenal and Barcelona forward Henry blatantly stopped the ball going out of play with his hand, before crossing for William Gallas to score. The game in Paris in 2009 ended 1-1 after with France progressing to the finals 2-1 on aggregate.
FIFA President Sepp Blatter revealed that the FAI had asked the governing body to be handed a and”33rd placeand” in the World Cup at a confidential meeting to discuss a possible replay.
FAI chief executive John Delaney criticized Blatter at the time for his handling of the incident and accused the Swiss of being and”disrespectful.and”
Speaking to Irish state broadcaster RTE on Thursday, Delaney said: and”It was a payment to the association… not to proceed with a legal case. We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup hadnand’t worked out because of the Thierry Henry handball, also the way (Sepp) Blatter behaved if you remember on stage, having a snigger, having a laugh at us.
and”So that day when I went in and told him how I felt about him… there were some expletives used, we came to an agreement… It was a very good agreement for the FAI, a very legitimate agreement for the FAI.and”
Meanwhile, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver has said that the biggest scandal to ever hit footballand’s governing body will lead all sports federations to revisit how they do business.
The corruption allegations swirling around FIFA over the last week could ultimately prompt changes at other governing bodies, but Silver was confident the International Basketball Federation, or FIBA, was transparent.
and”Iand’m sure that because of the investigation thatand’s now going on with FIFA that the other federations, not just FIBA, will all take a fresh look at how they do business, to ensure that everything is done in the best possible way with the highest standards,and” Silver told reporters before the opening game of the NBA Finals.
and”But weand’re very confident in the way that FIBA is operating.and”
FIFA, was the target of a twin-pronged assault by the United States Department of Justice and the Swiss Attorney Generaland’s office last week which saw the arrest of senior officials on a multitude of corruption charges.
Blatter has not been charged and he was elected to a fifth four-year term last week but then unexpectedly resigned on Tuesday.
Silver, who took over at the helm of the NBA in February 2014 after David Stern retired following a 30-year stint, called FIBA a and”very transparent organizationand” that has open board meetings and has their financials audited.
and”Thereand’s been absolutely no suggestion that FIBA, our federation, as opposed to FIFA, has been tainted in any way by corruption,and” said Silver. and”Thereand’s never been a discussion in our sport of any of the sort of taint that weand’re seeing right now in FIFA. I mean, weand’re going to take a close look at it.and”

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman