Delaney: 'I've no concerns it affects us in any way'

Delaney: 'I've no concerns it affects us in any way'


FAI chief executive John Delaney has said the association should have no concerns about FIFA owning a company in Ireland.

A report in today's Herald newspaper stated that FIFA Ireland limited had revenues of €113 million during its seven years in business.

Speaking on RTE Radio this afternoon Delaney commented about FAI officials being on the board of directors: “What I will say to you is this was a company that was formed in 2001. Our president and general secretary at the time were approached by FIFA. They accepted the invitation to be on the board.

"They then brought it to our board in October of that year. People like myself and Michael Cody expressed our concerns and we looked that the FAI would be indemnified against potential problems that might have occurred."

When asked about the involvement of FAI chiefs getting involved Delaney replied. "I just think the FAI is there to run football. I didn’t think that we should be having directors in any other company that would be outside of our remit. But the two gentleman had accepted the invitation at that stage and we looked for safe guards to be put in place.

"We did outline our concerns. It is in our minutes actually of the meetings of October 2001 that both Michael Cody and myself would have expressed those concerns at the time.

"To be honest with you, I don’t know the ins and out of it. But when it was brought to my attention, I would have expressed my concerns. If it’s going to be looked into, let it be looked into.

"From the FAI’s point of view, I have no concerns it affects us in any way. I believe it was set up for a tax status, I believe it was set up for intellectual property rights that were being sold for the World Cup in Japan and South Korea.

"But if matters have to be looked into, that has a matter for other people and not for me. I would welcome it being looked into because I want to be sure that any company in Ireland, not just this company, any company in Ireland that FIFA would have been involved in, that it operated correctly and to proper governance."

Delaney also confirmed that FIFA paid the FAI to stop a legal case over the Thierry Henry 'handball' incident which denied Ireland a place at the 2010 World Cup.


“We felt we had a legal case against FIFA because of how the World Cup [playoff] hadn’t worked out for us with the Henry handball.

“Also the way Blatter behaved, if you remember on stage, having a snigger and having a laugh at us. That day when I went in, and I told him how I felt about him, there were some expletives used. We came to an agreement.

“That was a Thursday and on Monday the agreement was all signed and all done. It’s a very good agreement for the FAI and a very legitimate agreement for the FAI.”