Sunday 23 October 2016

FAI chief John Delaney calls for transparency but won't discuss €5m FIFA case

The chief executive of the FAI John Delaney has called for transparency in world football but refused to discuss a €5m payout to the Irish association from FIFA.

John Delaney refused to discuss his organisation's alleged €5m settlement with FIFA following Ireland's defeat to France in a 2010 World Cup play-off, with the infamous handball by Thierry Henry the focus of the controversy.

Mr Delaney (right) was speaking as FIFA delegates prepared to vote on the governing body's new today president, with the FAI head expecting Sepp Blatter to secure a fifth consecutive term.

"I expect him (Blatter) to win," Mr Delaney said, before adding "it will be the beginning of the end for him".

The vote comes in a turbulent week for world football .

John Delaney also called for a new era of "transparency" for FIFA and hoped current president Blatter would step down.

"Blatter has presided over a farce, an absolute farce.

"FIFA's credibility is shot and Blatter has to go. If he loved football as much as he says he does, then he'd go," Mr Delaney told RTE Radio.

However, when asked about a legal case the FAI took against FIFA in relation to the the 2010 World Cup play-off defeat to France, Mr Delaney was quick to side-step the question.

"Well there was a legal case we had against FIFA at the time, there was an arrangement that was come to, but it wasn't bestowing patronage on us," the FAI chief said, before saying the terms of the agreement were "confidential".

He went on to discuss how the FAI has a "very open approach" to the game.

"I don't know what more we can do in terms of being open and transparent," he said, despite refusing to discuss the settlement with FIFA.

He added that the FAI had "never" voted for Sepp Blatter. in a FIFA presidential election.

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