Sunday 24 September 2017

Probe into €5m Fifa payment 'blocked' by TDs, says minister

Patrick O’Donovan Photo: Tom Burke
Patrick O’Donovan Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

A Fine Gael minister has claimed that an Oireachtas committee blocked a probe into the €5m payment received by the FAI from Fifa following Thierry Henry's infamous World Cup play-off handball.

Sports Minister Patrick O'Donovan hit out at TDs over their handling of the controversy.

He and other TDs had sought to probe the FAI over the payment ahead of a scheduled appearance by its chief executive John Delaney in 2015. The hearing never took place.

Mr O'Donovan was asked about the issue by TD Catherine Murphy, at the Oireachtas Committee on Sport yesterday, who claimed the €5m payment had not been properly scrutinised.

"We attempted to do that, we were blocked by our own members," Mr O'Donovan said. "Some of them might want to forget that." He added: "When committees are charged with probing, they have an obligation to probe."

Then chairman of the committee, John O'Mahony, said there had been "strong legal advice" that the €5m payment from Fifa could not be probed because it wasn't State-funded.

Irish Independent

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