Friday 28 October 2016

FAI spent €10K deleting John Delaney's comments on FIFA 'corruption' from match programme

Published 13/06/2015 | 11:03

John Delaney
John Delaney

The FAI have spent €10,000 replacing match programmes for today's crunch Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland to erase comments John Delaney made about alleged corruption at FIFA.

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The move meant that 18,000 programmes were shredded and replaced at the 11th hour to remove comments from a feature from John Delaney on the recent revelations about alleged corruption in world football.

A further 18,000 of the €5 programmes had to be printed to replace those destroyed at an estimated cost of €10,000.

The FAI told the Irish Daily Mail last night that the action had been taken without the knowledge of chief executive John Delaney and had been approved by the communications team at the association.

A statement read: "John Delaney was entirely unaware of this change to the programme. He had already signed off on it and it was approved for printing.

"The decision to delete his comments where they related to FIFA was an editorial one that was taken by the communications team."

Some disgruntled fans have organised a banner saying 'DELANEY OUT' to be flown over the Aviva Stadium during the Scotland match in a protest over his leadership.

John Delaney has come under fire in recent weeks following the increased scrutiny over a €5m payment made to the FAI from FIFA following the controversial Thierry Henry handball.

Delaney last week revealed the money was arranged by Sepp Blatter after the team controversially lost a play-off against France in 2009 and was secured from FIFA after a heated exchange with Blatter in his office and the FIFA boss joking that the Republic sought to be team 33 at the World Cup in South Africa.

Delaney claimed the money was paid to stave off a threatened a lawsuit against FIFA after officials missed the handball by Henry to set up a goal for William Gallas.

The terms were originally confidential, the FAI has said, but the money was also due to be repaid if the Republic qualified for the subsequent 2014 World Cup.

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