Saturday 22 October 2016

scots paint to wn blue as Irish fans targ et Delaney


A GROUP of Irish football fans have paid for a banner to be dragged behind a light aircraft over the Aviva stadium calling for FAI boss John Delaney to resign.

The disgruntled fans have paid more than €1,000 for the banner, which will pass over the stadium before Ireland's crucial clash against Scotland this evening.

It reads "Enough is enough Delaney Out".


The supporters are livid over Delaney's admission that the FAI accepted a payment of €5m from Fifa.

They plan to meet before the game to publicise their concerns over having Delaney at the helm of Irish football.

They said the banner highlights the frustration that many Irish football fans feel towards the FAI leadership.

The group plans to have the plane flown around Dublin before it circles the Aviva less than an hour before the game.

The fans said the airborne protest is taking place before the match to ensure that there would be "no distraction" during it.

This evening's clash is crucial for both Scotland and Ireland who desperately need points to have a chance of qualifying for the European Championships.

It will be all to play for tonight as Group D of the qualifiers is already tight, with only three points separating the top four teams who include world champions Germany.

FAI boss Delaney has come under fire in the past week after it was revealed that scandal-hit Fifa made a €5m payment to the FAI following the infamous Thierry Henry handball incident that saw Ireland crash out of the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

Delaney confirmed during an interview with RTE's Ray D'Arcy that an "arrangement" had been made. Fifa subsequently confirmed the deal, and the FAI has come under increasing pressure to explain how it recorded the €5m pay-off in its accounts.

The FAI then released a detailed statement on the matter giving its explanation for how the massive sum appeared in its business filings.

Delaney said his organisation had been bound by a confidentiality agreement with Fifa.


The FAI said the €5m payment was initially made as a loan in January 2010 but that the full sum was written off by Fifa after the Irish squad failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Details of the deal emerged as Fifa was mired in controversy and after its president Sepp Blatter sensationally resigned.

Delaney managed to avoid questioning on the deal from the Dail's sports committee.

Some TDs had expressed their wish for him to appear before them in Leinster House.

However, the Oireachtas sub-committee on transport, tourism and sport voted overwhelmingly not to bring him in to answer questions on the payment.

TDs were told it was beyond their remit to investigate the payment.

The decision came after it emerged that Delaney had personally phoned members of the committee saying that he had nothing further to add to the controversy.

Delaney's salary of €360,000 was also criticised by the Ireland supporters who plan to protest today, though it is down from a peak of €400,000 in 2011.

The fans say they have received support from around the world for their campaign, including from Canada, Abu Dhabi and Australia.

The FAI did not respond to a request last night for a comment on this evening's protest.

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