Saturday 22 October 2016

Payment for Thierry Henry handball is a joke, fumes head of German FA

Wolfgang Niersbach
Wolfgang Niersbach
Thierry Henry, France, handles the ball before crossing it to his team-mate William Gallas to scores their side's first goal of the game. FIFA 2010 World Cup Qualifying Play-off 2nd Leg, Republic of Ireland v France, Stade de France, Saint-Denis, Paris

FIFA's payment to Ireland over Thierry Henry's hand-ball has been condemned as "a joke" by the head of German football.

Wolfgang Niersbach, the president of the German football federation and a FIFA executive committee member, spoke out after the world governing body admitted paying the Football Association of Ireland 5million euros as compensation for the infamous Thierry hand-ball in a World Cup play-off.

The FIFA payment, initially a loan, was agreed in return for the FAI not taking the case to court. Had Ireland qualified for the 2014 finals they would have had to pay the money back.

Niersbach told German television station ZDF: "It is a joke that they paid this money out to stop the Irish taking them in front of court."

France beat Ireland in the 2009 play-off 2-1 on aggregate - with France's extra-time decider in the second leg owing much to an Henry hand-ball in the build-up - which led to the FAI threatening legal action after missing out on the 2010 World Cup.

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