Fifa paid Irish FA to make legal case disappear

John Delaney has confirmed the payment. Credit: PA

Chief Executive of the Irish Football Association John Delaney has admitted Fifa paid the organisation to avoid a legal case.

The payment, reportedly €5million, was made after France beat Ireland in a World Cup play-off in 2009 thanks to a goal by Thierry Henry, who blatantly handled the ball for the goal.

Delaney, speaking to RTE, said he came to an agreement with Fifa president Sepp Blatter than the Irish FA should be compensated.

When asked if the figure in question was €5 million, Delaney said: "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.

"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.

"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.

"You’ve put a figure out there and fair play to you it was a payment to the association to not proceed with a legal case. 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."

The FAI later published a further statement clarifying the reason why this recent revelation had only just come to light, saying they were abiding to by a confidentiality agreement required by Fifa as part of the settlement.