It has been uncovered that FIFA paid Ireland a total of $5 million, which equates to approximately £3.25 million, so that they would not start legal proceedings after they were controversially knocked out of the World Cup play offs by France back in 2009.
in extra time in the game against France striker Thierry Henry deliberately brought the ball under control with his hand and crossed the ball for William Gallas who scored the decisive goal. The handball seemed so obvious at the time that there was outrage that none of the officials did not see it, or at least if they did see it they did nothing about it.
To avoid Ireland bringing legal action FIFA decided to give the FA of Ireland a `loan` to go towards the construction of a stadium in Ireland. They have claimed that this $5 million would have been paid back if Ireland had reached the 2014 World Cup Finals but they did not.
In a statement FIFA said: “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.”
The Chief Executive of the FAI at the time, John Delaney, was heavily critical of the way Sepp Blatter handled the incident as he acted in a very disrespectful manner and he seemed to be having a laugh on stage at one point at Ireland`s expense. He said that he had a very heated meeting with Blatter in the aftermath of this incident and it was then that FIFA came to an agreement with Ireland to make a payment to the Association. Delaney believed it was a very good agreeent for Ireland and felt that it was a legitimate payment to them after the upset they had been through.
For more information on this story you can go to the Reuters UK website by clicking on the following link: FIFA Paid FA Ireland $5 Million To Avoid Legal Proceedings