FIFA Paid Irish FA To Stop Legal Action Over Thierry Henry Handball

FIFA Paid Irish FA To Stop Legal Action Over Thierry Henry Handball
France x Portugal Crystian Cruz / Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0
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France controversially defeated Ireland in a play-off game of the World Cup qualifier. FIFA paid Football Association of Ireland 5 million Euro to stop legal actions over French striker Thierry Henry’s handball which sparked controversies in a 2009 game.


FIFA chief executive John Delaney said that he believed they had a case against the apex governing body after that game.

The Republic of Ireland were only 16 minutes away from a penalty shoot-out on their road to World Cup 2010 in South Africa, as star striker Henry handled the ball in a goal-bound move in the extra-time, from which William Gallas netted the equalizer. This was a second-round playoff game held in Paris. France clinched the World Cup berth winning 2-1 in aggregate, but bowed out of the group stage amidst a player’s strike.

Ireland failed to qualify for the World Cup 2010, as FIFA made a “legitimate-agreement” to drop the claim, Delaney also pointed out.

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In a statement, the Football Association of Ireland said, “This is fully reflected in our financial statements, which are audited independently. The FAI accepted Fifa’s settlement offer to avoid a long, costly and protracted legal case.

“The settlement has at no time influenced the FAI’s criticism of Fifa as demonstrated by our consistent criticism of Blatter”

FIFA paid €5 million to the FAI as “loan” in January 2010 to cancel farther investigation over the issue.

Now, FIFA President Sepp Blatter is quitting as multimillion systemic and deep-rooted corruption has surfaced to put the organization in crisis.

Both the U.S. and Swiss authorities are undergoing criminal investigations against 14 FIFA officials over wide-spread bribery allegations the 2018 and 2022 World Cup bidding processes.