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John Delaney calls for transparency in football but won't discuss reported €5m FIFA payment


John Delaney and (inset) Sepp Blatter

John Delaney has called for transparency in world football but failed to discuss a €5m payout the FAI reportedly received from FIFA following the Thierry Henry handball in 2009.

The FAI CEO has been very vocal in his opposition to Sepp Blatter this week in the wake of the corruption scandal that has rocked the world of football.

Earlier this week, Delaney questioned the brand image of FIFA and said that Blatter has been in his position as head of FIFA for too long and it was time for him to move on.

On Morning Ireland today, host Gavin Jennings questioned Delaney about a €5m payment the FAI reportedly received from FIFA following Ireland's heartbreaking World Cup exit in Paris back in 2009.

Jennings put it to Delaney that “it was reported that the FAI was going to kick up a fuss over what happened with Thierry Henry and us not being allowed to be the 33rd country and we were bestowed patronage to the tune of €5m”.

But Delaney dismissed that issue as a “legal matter with FIFA”.

"There was a legal case we had against FIFA at the time. There was an arrangement that was come to but it certainly wasn't bestowing patronage to us," he said.

"That is confidential for the moment but what I will say is that at no stage have we ever voted in favour of Blatter.

"We have been consistent in that all through and I have as well. That is the bottom end of it. Today, like I said earlier, we will be voting against Blatter because he is not the man to lead FIFA going forward."

Jennings also suggested that there are those in Ireland who would question the transparency and credibility of the Football Association Of Ireland.

"We've got a very open approach to the game. The members are very happy with how we run the game of football," added Delaney.

"We have an AGM every year, our accounts are given to the public, our members. I don't know what more we can do in terms of being open and transparent. Our members are very happy with the way the association is being ran."

While Delaney insists that Blatter, who has been in his position for 17 years, has been at the FIFA helm for far too long, he has no plans to relinquish his role as CEO of the FAI.

His current contract expires in 2020 – when he will have served 15 years as head of the Football Association of Ireland.

"I'm contracted until 2020. We are bringing the Euros to Dublin in 2020. We are one of the 13 countries to host it. I'm looking forward to that. Then I'll reassess my own career. I've made that clear recently. Any decision I make I'll make on a joint-basis.

"There is two things you decide in your life. One is do the members want you to stay and two is do you still have the same energy to continue. That is something for 2020. It is not for the events of today to be fair."

Online Editors

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