Ireland FA shred programs including comments about FIFA

Sat Jun 13, 2015 5:55pm EDT
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Ireland shredded 18,000 match programs containing comments about FIFA by Football Association of Ireland (FAI) chief executive John Delaney ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 qualifier against Scotland in Dublin.

In the original program, Delaney offered his thoughts on the crisis at world soccer's governing body but the FAI decided to pull them at a reported reprinting cost of 7,000 pounds ($10,890.60).

"John Delaney was entirely unaware of this change to the program. He had already signed off on it and it was approved for printing," the FAI said in statement reported by The Daily Telegraph.

"The decision to delete his comments where they related to FIFA was an editorial one that was taken by the communications department."

The FAI were not immediately available to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Ireland were dragged into the FIFA corruption storm last week when it was revealed that the FAI was paid five million euros ($5.63 million) by FIFA to avoid a legal case over a controversial World Cup playoff defeat in 2009.

Ireland were knocked out by France in a two-legged playoff to qualify for the 2010 South Africa tournament, with the decisive goal in the second leg coming after a handball by French striker Thierry Henry in extra time.

With moral outrage over the goal in Ireland and Delaney accusing FIFA president Sepp Blatter of being "disrespectful", the world governing body came to a financial agreement with the FAI not to proceed with legal action to overturn the result.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris)