FAI clarifies terms of ‘inducement’

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Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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The 5million euros 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.”

On Friday 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 t he 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.

Kenny described the payment as “quite extraordinary” and called on Delaney to answer questions about the circumstances surrounding it.

He said: “This is quite extraordinary. But I would say that any questions that need to be answered here in the interests of transparency and accountability… John Delaney should answer and will answer all of those questions, I’m quite sure.”

Former Republic of Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews, who featured in the 2009 match against France, says it was wrong of the FAI to accept the cash.

“Disbelief and disgust, they would be two words that popped into my head the last few days as it was coming out,” he told the Newstalk radio station.

“As a country as a whole, we were able to hold our heads high with great dignity – that was the one comfort we all had and now that’s been taken away from us. That’s very sad.

“If you were to ask me personally if I would take a penny? Absolutely not. Do I blame them for trying to do something about the injustice we suffered? No, but to take money off them was wrong.

“It doesn’t sit well. Even if we had known about the whole affair, it wouldn’t have sat well. There was a huge financial loss (for the FAI), but there was a lack of transparency.

“It wasn’t a loan – it was hush money to get rid of John Delaney, the FAI and anyone saying anything negative about FIFA.”

Published: Saturday 6th June 2015 by The News Editor

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