FIFA paid FAI after Henry handball
FIFA has admitted paying the Football Association of Ireland 5million US dollars as compensation for the infamous Thierry Henry handball in a World Cup play-off.
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 handball in the build-up - which led to the FAI threatening legal action after missing out on the 2010 World Cup.
The 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.
FIFA said in a statement: "While the referee's decision is final, and the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) 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.
"FIFA granted FAI a loan of USD 5 million for the construction of a stadium in Ireland. At the same time, UEFA also granted the FAI funds for the same stadium.
"The terms agreed between FIFA and the FAI were that the loan would be reimbursed if Ireland qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Ireland did not so qualify. Because of this, and in view of the FAI's financial situation, FIFA decided to write off the loan as per 31 December 2014."
Jim Boyce, who stepped down as Britain's FIFA vice-president last week, labelled the payment "ridiculous" said there should be a full investigation into such "arbitrary" payments.
Boyce, from Northern Ireland, told Press Association Sport: "I'm absolutely astounded - I have never heard anything as ridiculous in my life. If a payment of 5million [dollars] has been paid because of a handball and threatened legal action then I hope a full investigation will be carried out into this and any other such arbitrary payments."