Reports have been released which confirm that the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) accepted a payment of £5 million by FIFA in order that they drop any legal claims following the infamous Thierry Henry handball in 2009. This incident which ultimately saw Ireland knocked out of qualification for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010.
A statement released by FIFA claimed that the money was "a loan" which was then written off when Ireland failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Bizarrely, FAI CEO John Delaney in an interview stated that the payment was made by FIFA in order to prevent any legal proceedings after Thierry Henry's handball.
Speaking to Irish media, Mr. Delaney stated: "We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup play-off hadn’t worked out for us with the Henry handball."
This news breaks at a critical moment for FIFA which is currently under investigation by the FBI for charges of money laundering and corruption. The disgraced association has seen the resignation of its President Sepp Blatter amidst the scandal.
The FIFA statement read: "While the Referee’s decision is final, and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) ultimately accepted it as such, in January 2010 FIFA entered into an agreement with FAI in order to put an end to any claims against FIFA."
The statement continued, "The terms agreed between FIFA and the FAI were that the loan would be reimbursed if Ireland qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ireland did not so qualify. Because of this, and in view of the FAI’s financial situation, FIFA decided to write off the loan as per 31 December 2014."
This news will come as shocking to not only the Irish people but people all over the world as it is a clear and obvious example of the corruption which surrounds FIFA. FAI CEO Mr. Delaney will be subject to heavy criticism and questioning. More news on this story will come to light in the coming days.
Jack Warner, FIFA whistleblower has stated that he knows "why Sepp Blatter fell" and has promised to reveal everything he knows about FIFA corruption.
Chuck Blazer, a former senior official with the CONCACAF confederation has revealed to an FBI enquiry that he and other FIFA executive committees accepted bribes in relation to the 1998 and 2010 FIFA World Cup bids. Many experts have agreed that corruption has been rife within FIFA for many years and that much will be revealed.