Wednesday 28 September 2016

Ireland fans who protested at 2010 World Cup call for John Delaney and FAI to donate cost of trip to charity

Published 11/06/2015 | 13:36

The two Nialls in South Africa
The two Nialls in South Africa

Two Ireland fans who travelled to South Africa in 2010 to protest against Thierry Henry have called on John Delaney and the FAI to donate the cost of their trip to charity.

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Niall Keogh and Niall Mallin were pictured in various newspapers throughout the world when they displayed a flag with the words 'Henry Le Cheat' during France's 0-0 draw with Uruguay before being booted out of the stadium by stewards.

Last week it emerged that John Delaney accepted €5million from FIFA not to pursue legal action following the double handball by Henry that led to Ireland's elimination from the World Cup Finals.

The payment has caused huge controversy worldwide and now the 'Two Nialls' have vented their anger, saying that Delaney should not have accepted any money while asking that the FAI donate €10k - the cost of the trip - to charity.

"France drew 0-0 with Uruguay and our flag lasted 25 minutes at the corner flag in Green Point Stadium, Cape Town," said Keogh.

"On seeing a steward tearing down our flag I reacted swiftly and accosted him. The irate steward hit back and grabbed at me. I shrugged him off and he then chased me - dressed as a leprechaun - around the stadium and unfortunately neither myself or Niall got our flag back or even got to see the rest of the game.

"We were told the flag was confiscated by FIFA and we were ejected for breaking FIFA rules. Very rich considering what Henry had done a couple of months previous."

Now Keogh wants Delaney and the FAI to do the "decent thing" and donate the cost of their trip to charity.

"We barely lasted 30 minutes and the trip had cost us €10k minimum! With the country behind us, including the Marian Finucane show and the Irish football team through contacts, we felt our trip was worth the stretch.

"But now we're overcome with anger that our World Cup was traded for a paltry €5million. The money should never have been accepted.

"The only thing we ask is we are refunded our €10k to a worthy charity. I know my own club at home, my beloved Firhouse Clover, have to work so hard just to break even. Many clubs do. Maybe the €10k could go towards helping clubs like this or to a charity."

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