You remember when a handball by Thierry Henry tied a World Cup qualifying game between France and Ireland back in 2009 and helped prevented the Irish from qualifying for the 2010 World Cup? Yeah, we have received confirmation that FIFA paid off the Football Association of Ireland to make up for it.
Henry clearly used his hand to stop a ball and help make a centering pass to the front of the net where the ball was punched it to tie the match at one. As soon as he used his hand, several Irish players raised their arms and stopped playing to indicate to the referees that a hand was used.
Somehow the call was never made, and Ireland lost to France on aggregate goals.
A year ago it was reported that Ireland was paid €5 million as compensation for the bad call. FAI chief executive John Delaney confirmed that report during a radio appearance on “The Ray D’Arcy Show” on RTE Radio One.
“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,” Delaney said. “Also the way Blatter behaved, if you remember on stage, having a snigger and having a laugh at us. That day when I went in, and I told him how I felt about him, there were some expletives used and we came to an agreement.
“That was a Thursday and on Monday the agreement was all signed and all done. It’s a very good agreement for the FAI and a very legitimate agreement for the FAI, but I’m bound by confidentiality for naming the figure.
“It was a payment to the Association not to proceed with a legal case,” Delaney said.