Friday 2 December 2016

Jonathan Walters and Darren O'Dea have been poking fun at FIFA's €5m payment to FAI

Published 06/06/2015 | 12:01

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney revealed the payment from FIFA earlier this week
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney revealed the payment from FIFA earlier this week

Republic of Ireland internationals Jonathan Walters and Darren O'Dea proved that it's time to start cracking the jokes about FIFA's €5m payment to the FAI over the Thierry Henry handball.

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The €5million payment made by FIFA to the Football Association of Ireland is described in documentation as an "inducement" to the Irish to end any possible legal challenge over their controversial elimination from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup.

The FAI has published a copy of a confidentiality agreement it reached with world governing body FIFA after it had confronted president Sepp Blatter over Ireland's World Cup play-off exit in 2009. The Irish lost out to France to a goal scored after Thierry Henry had clearly handled the ball in the build-up.

The document states: "On or before January 15, 2010, FIFA and FAI have entered into a loan agreement over 5million euros as an inducement for the FAI to enter into this agreement. Further, the FAI will receive an additional Goal Project in the amount of 400,000 US dollars than the one executed in 2009."

Last night the FAI released the timeline of events which led to it receiving the payment from FIFA.

Responding to calls for further details from Ireland's Taoiseach Enda Kenny, the FAI posted a comprehensive blow-by-blow account on its website.

FAI chief John Delaney brought the issue to public attention when he said his organisation was given the sum and the fall-out spilled over into a high-level summit of Ireland's cross-border peace-building North South Ministerial Council in Dublin, where leaders called on the Irish football executive to shed light on the transaction.

It's a serious situation but some players are seeing the funny side.



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