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FIFA Pay Off Irish FA Over Thierry Hendry Handball

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Jun 5, 2015

FIFA Pay Off Irish FA Over Thierry Hendry Handball

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The rabbit hole of corruption surrounding FIFA seems to keep getting deeper and deeper.

Remember that one time when Thierry Henry handled the ball on purpose in a World Cup qualifier against Ireland? France was losing 1-0 to Ireland in stoppage time of their second leg match. Henry handles the ball which sets up a William Gallas equalizer. This meant France ended up going through to the World Cup on aggregate (2-1).

Everyone knew it was a blatant handball. And it caused Ireland to miss the chance to go to the World Cup. Well, now it has come out that Sepp Blatter and FIFA ended up paying the Irish FA (FAI) €5m to settle legal action that the FAI was going to take against FIFA. FIFA later claimed that they actually paid the FAI $5m and that the money was a “loan” to help build a stadium. The money was written off at a later time by FIFA when Ireland failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

FAI chairman John Delaney said in a recent radio interview:

“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.”

And then…

“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. We came to an agreement.”

He also mentioned that it was a very good deal for the Irish FA. – Not sure Irish fans would feel the same way…

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