FAI chief executive John Delaney said “an arrangement” with FIFA will remain “confidential for the moment” when asked about a reported €5million payment following the incident which led to the Republic of Ireland missing out on the 2010 World Cup.
France defeated Ireland in a play-off match which saw Thierry Henry clearly foul through a hand ball in the build-up to the winning goal.
The FAI requested that Ireland be permitted to the competition as a 33rd team following the error by the referee.
Delaney told RTÉ this morning: “There was a legal case we had against FIFA at the time. There was an arrangement that was come to but it certainly wasn’t bestowing patronage to us.”
Asked about what the arrangement was, Delaney said: “That is confidential for the moment but what I will say is that at no stage have we ever voted in favour of Blatter.
“We have been consistent in that all through and I have as well. That is the bottom end of it. Today, like I said earlier, we will be voting against Blatter because he is not the man to lead FIFA going forward.”
Delaney, FAI chief executive, has said for FIFA's credibility to be returned, Sepp Blatter must go.
However, he said he expects the 79-year-old to win the presidential vote taking place today at FIFA's annual congress in Zurich.
"When you see the sponsors the football fans and the devisiveness that Blatter has caused, they need to see the light here" - John Delaney
Delaney said if Blatter loved football he would do the honourable thing and step down. He said a lot of countries have been dismayed by what has happened in recent days and will be supporting the other contender in the election, Prince Ali.
Delaney said as many as ten or 15 nations who would have supported Blatter will not now in light of the allegations of corruption against seven FIFA executives.
He added that many nations continue to offer blind support to Blatter, particularly some African nations who think their funding may be cut if Blatter goes.
Delaney continued: "There is a message from UEFA, from European football, that has to get into these nations that their funding will continue irrespective of whoever runs FIFA. But secondly, if FIFA's credibility is to get any chance of it to be returned to what it was 20 years ago, Blatter has to go. When you see the sponsors the football fans and the devisiveness that Blatter has caused, they need to see the light here.”
Quizzed on the FAI’s credibility, Delaney defended their record.
He continued: “We’ve got a very open approach to the game. The members are very happy with how we run the game of football. We have an AGM every year, our accounts are given to the public, our members. I don’t know what more we can do in terms of being open and transparent. Our members are very happy with the way the association is being ran.
“We have developed the game extraordinarily well the last 10 or 12 years. 450,000 people play football on a weekly basis in our country so I think we do a very good job in developing the game in a very open way.”
Delaney said that “Blatter has had a hell of a run at it” earlier this week. The Waterford man has been in the chief executive role with the FAI for over a decade and will remain with the organisation for the next five years. He refused to discuss his future beyond it.
“I’m contracted until 2020. We are bringing the Euros to Dublin in 2020. We are one of the 13 countries to host it. I’m looking forward to that. Then I’ll reassess my own career. I’m very happy in my personal life, I’ve made that clear recently. Any decision I make I’ll make on a joint-basis.
“There is two things you decide in your life. One is do the members want you to stay and two is do you still have the same energy to continue. That is something for 2020. It is not for the events of today to be fair. Today is about the president of FIFA and the credibility of the world game.”