Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Debra Granik: 'There aren't many women who love making films about blood and gore'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Medical breakthrough? Researchers find way to tackle Alzheimer's

Read more

FOCUS

Jihadists, but no terror attacks: The case of Italy

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

A controversial pastor in Haiti, pollution in Casablanca, and more

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Photojournalist Reza: 'Children are now the best photographers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Instagram founders quit photo app

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Tanzania investigates ferry disaster which killed at least 227

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Presidential parody: The unofficial Elysée shop

Read more

THE DEBATE

Iran under pressure: Tehran vows retaliation after Ahvaz attack

Read more

Sports

FIFA paid Ireland $5 million to forget Henry’s handball

© Franck Fife, AFP I Thierry Henry is seen after a goal scored on September 7, 2005 in Dublin

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2015-06-06

FIFA paid Ireland’s FA (FAI) $5 million to avoid a legal case over a controversial World Cup playoff defeat in 2009, world soccer’s governing body confirmed on Thursday.

Ireland were 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 soccer’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.

“In January 2010 FIFA entered into an agreement with FAI in order to put an end to any claims against FIFA,” it said in a statement.

“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.”

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 “33rd place” in the World Cup at a confidential meeting to discuss a possible replay.

FAI chief executive John Delaney criticised Blatter at the time for his handling of the incident and accused the Swiss of being “disrespectful”.

Speaking to Irish state broadcaster RTE on Thursday, Delaney said: “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 hadn’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.

“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.”

(REUTERS)

Date created : 2015-06-05

  • FIFA SCANDAL

    Former FIFA official admits taking bribes for 1998, 2010 World Cups

    Read more

  • FIFA SCANDAL

    South African police launch preliminary probe into 2010 World Cup bribe claims

    Read more

  • RFI EXCLUSIVE

    Ex-FIFA VP Jack Warner to 'fight US extradition’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)