Sunday 25 September 2016

Martin O'Neill maintains silence on FIFA deal as Jose Mourinho hits out

Published 08/06/2015 | 02:30

Martin O'Neill says he will discuss the FAI incident at a later date
Martin O'Neill says he will discuss the FAI incident at a later date
Mourinho: 'You change the truth of the game for €5m? What next? Because more stories will come for sure'

Martin O'Neill says he will discuss the issue of the FAI's €5m deal with FIFA at a later date after the controversy rumbled on over the weekend with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho having his say.

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Mourinho could not disguise his amazement at the news that FIFA struck a 'loan' arrangement with the FAI so they would drop a legal case after Thierry Henry's handball in 2009.

"This, with the Irish federation, for me is the end of the world," said Mourinho. "You change the truth of the game for €5m? What next? Because more stories will come for sure."

The whole episode has cropped up at a desperately unfortunate juncture for O'Neill seeing as Saturday's qualifier with Scotland could prove to be the defining game of his tenure.

"I'll discuss it sometime, okay?" said O'Neill, when Mourinho's observations were put to him. "I haven't the time to do it really here. Do you know what I will (discuss it) when it's done and dusted. Absolutely, I'll just put on my seal of approval or disapproval on it. Seriously."

It emerged over the weekend that the FAI also received a substantial loan in excess of €10m from UEFA in 2013.

7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Gary Leonard, from Dundrum, Co. Dublin, on his way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Gary Leonard, from Dundrum, Co. Dublin, on his way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Pictured is Cian Knowles, 10, from Athy, Co. Kildare. Cian was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. McDonald's / FAI flagbearers event. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Pictured is Jamie OShea, 12, from Summerhill, Co. Meath, with fellow flagbearers. Jamie was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Pictured is Cian Knowles, 10, from Athy, Co. Kildare. Cian was chosen as the flag bearer for the Ireland v England game through Ronald McDonald House charity. The Ronald McDonald House supports families whose children are seriously ill in hospital. The Ronald McDonald House provides accommodation and a caring and supportive environment for families whose children are seriously ill and are hospitalised or undergoing medical treatment at Our Ladys Childrens Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin 12. McDonald's / FAI flagbearers event. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland and England flags and scarves for sale around the ground before kick off. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters chant for their team during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England fans during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England players prepare to defend a corner-kick in injury time during the first half. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Ramsey Cardy / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; A fan gestures towards the England fans during the 1st half. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England supporters during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; England supporters during the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Derek Smith and Therese Kellepp, from Donaghmede, Co. Dublin. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Flags and scarves for sale outside the stadium ahead of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; A car festooned with memorabilia ahead of the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Keith Keavey and his son Dáire, age 6, from Lucan, Co. Dublin, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Shane McCormack, centre, with his two sons John, left, age 12, and John, age 11, from Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Kadin Coffey, age 7, from Portarlington, Co. Laois, on this way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters Gareth Crawley with his 11 month old son Kai, from Dundalk, Co. Louth, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters, from left to right, Ryan McDonald, Gary Dunne and Jack Brody on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Jonathan Gough, age 10, from Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, on this way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporters on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Aviva Stadium, Lansdowne Road, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Republic of Ireland supporter Sasha McBride, age 12, from Cavan, on her way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Tara Street Station, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE
7 June 2015; Luke Byrne, age 8, and his father Vincent, from Finglas, Co. Dublin, on their way to the game. Three International Friendly, Republic of Ireland v England. Tara Street Station, Dublin. Picture credit: Cody Glenn / SPORTSFILE

A statement from the European football authorities said that the monies went towards the construction of the Aviva Stadium, adding that the loan was organised directly between FAI and UEFA and had nothing to do with FIFA.

The FAI have confirmed that €8.5m will have to be repaid to UEFA, with the latest developments again stressing the impact of poor premium level ticket sales at the renovated stadium.

Initially, it was anticipated that the 10-year tickets would cover the association's contribution to the project. Two years ago, UEFA finance director Josef Koller said a solidarity payment had been advanced to the FAI due to a 'really difficult situation'.

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