Ire­land was paid af­ter play­off de­feat in 2010

FIFA ad­mits giv­ing $5 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion to coun­try for miss­ing World Cup, in part to avoid legal ac­tion.

Los Angeles Times - - BASEBALL -

In the midst of an es­ca­lat­ing fi­nan­cial scan­dal, FIFA ad­mit­ted Thurs­day to giv­ing Ire­land $5 mil­lion in com­pen­sa­tion for miss­ing a place at the 2010 World Cup af­ter Thierry Henry’s hand­ball set up France’s win­ning goal in a play­off game.

FIFA dis­closed the pay­ment af­ter the money was men­tioned in a ra­dio in­ter­view by Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land Chief Ex­ec­u­tive John De­laney. Nei­ther FIFA nor the FAI had pre­vi­ously dis­closed the agree­ment to stave off legal ac­tion fol­low­ing the con­tentious elim­i­na­tion game.

The rev­e­la­tion was made two days af­ter FIFA Pres­i­dent Sepp Blat­ter an­nounced un­der pres­sure that he will re­sign, likely by March. Blat­ter was re­elected to a fifth term last Fri­day de­spite crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tions into FIFA that in­cluded U.S. charges against ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­bers. The trans­ac­tion high­lights a lack of trans­parency that plunged FIFA into the big­gest scan­dal of its 111year his­tory.

“While the ref­eree’s de­ci­sion is fi­nal, and the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion of Ire­land ul­ti­mately ac­cepted it as such, in Jan­uary 2010, FIFA en­tered into an agree­ment with FAI in or­der to put an end to any claims against FIFA,” said a state­ment from FIFA.

Blat­ter said on Thurs­day he has al­ready started work­ing on ways to clean up the sport’s gov­ern­ing body.

“Work­ing hard on re­forms af­ter meet­ing Au­dit & Com­pli­ance Com­mit­tee In­de­pen­dent Chair­man Scala,” Blat­ter tweeted.

In a court­room devel­op­ment, the New York Times asked a U.S. fed­eral judge to make public the gov­ern­ment’s plea agree­ment with for­mer FIFA ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber Chuck Blazer.

The plea agree­ment was ref­er­enced in a 40-page tran­script of Blazer’s Novem­ber 2013 plea hear­ing, which was un­sealed Wed­nes­day. U.S. Dis­trict Judge Ray­mond J. Dearie or­dered the gov­ern­ment to re­spond by Tues­day.

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