The Slatest

FIFA’s Honesty Binge Continues: $5 Million Paid to Ireland for Henry Handball No-Call.

French forward Thierry Henry (L) controls the ball during the World Cup 2010 qualifying match against Ireland on November 18, 2009 at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, northern Paris.


This FIFA-actually-telling-us-things vibe the organization is putting out seems contagious and could make things great this summer. With the threat of the truth being disclosed hanging over every FIFA member, it appears FIFA-ites are lining up to dish first. Thursday’s non-lethal revelation comes via the head of the Irish soccer association, who said that FIFA paid the group essentially hush money after Thierry Henry’s handball-inspired assist gave France the winning goal that knocked the Irish side out of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup and sent France to South Africa.

Needless to say, the Irish were not happy. The goal, scored in extra time, was a dagger.

“We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup hadn’t worked out because of the Henry hand ball,” the Irish soccer head, John Delaney, said during an interview with RTE. “A FIFA spokesperson confirmed the payment Thursday afternoon, saying that in an agreement completed in January 2010 it had extended a $5 million loan to Ireland’s federation to construct a stadium in Ireland,” the New York Times reports. “But FIFA’s statement also noted that UEFA, the governing body for soccer in Europe, ‘also granted the F.A.I. funds for the same stadium.’” So FIFA being FIFA just wrote the “loan” off and it became a gift.