Former FAI chief Rooney calls for transparency

Former FAI chief Rooney calls for transparency

FORMER FAI CEO Fran Rooney reckons ‘it’s nonsensical to think we had a case that we could have won’ and has called on the association to be transparent with their financial accounts.

Rooney, who acted as CEO in 2003 and 2004, was interviewed on RTE Radio this morning.

"I don't think anybody in football would believe we had a strong case," Rooney said. "Refereeing decisions in all sports are final.

"In this case a handball was not given, that didn't stop us from going to the World Cup. It stopped us getting a penalty shoot-out perhaps.

"I think it's nonsensical to think we had a case that we could have won. I don't know where FIFA were coming from when they came to the settlement."

"The big issue now for FIFA, particularly after the events of last week, we're looking at transparency. Confidential payments of this nature are at odds with transparency.

"This confidential agreement should not have been confidential. It should have been disclosed at the time, by FIFA and the FAI.

Rooney is shocked by this week’s revelations.  "It should have been disclosed as a legal agreement in itself. I would call now on the FAI to publish that legal agreement and settlement and let's see what is in it.

"Apart from the settlement itself being disclosed, there is an issue how it was disclosed in the accounts. It doesn't seem to have been reflected on the face of the accounts for a number of years.

"Best account practice would have required that this money would have been shown as a loan or a grant from FIFA. It seems that FIFA treated this as a loan. On that basis it should have been a loan in the account for 2009/10/11/12 until it was written off in 2013 or 2014.

"I'd ask the FAI, because it's not clear from the delegates and the media who were at the AGMs of the last number of years, where that money was shown in the accounts, to clearly show where that money is."

Liam Brady, Ireland's assistant manager to Giovanni Trapattoni on the evening of Thierry Henry's 'handball' in 2009, says the squad didn't know anything about the payment at the time.

“It’s kind of mind-boggling isn’t it?” Brady said on RTE Radio. “I knew they were under pressure to compensate us somehow after the incident in November 2009 but I didn’t realise that the FAI got as much money as they did. Certainly no staff, none of the players knew about it at the time.”

“I think FIFA are saying it was a loan to do with the Aviva Stadium from what I can gather, but John Delaney is telling a different story and I’m sure this story will go on and on.”