Fianna Fáil Transport, Tourism and Sport Spokesperson Timmy Dooley TD has called on the FAI to move quickly to give a full explanation of the process surrounding the controversial payment of €5M to the organisation by FIFA.

Deputy Dooley commented, “The story of the €5M ‘compensation’ from FIFA to the FAI following Ireland’s exit from the 2010 World Cup competition has quickly grown into a full scale and potentially very damaging controversy for the FAI. Not just domestically, but in the international press there is growing unease at the circumstances of its payment and the failure to declare it at the time.

“Many fans are left scratching their heads at why the FAI would not have told them they had forced FIFA into making a financial contribution following the injustice of Ireland’s exit from that campaign. The fact that news is only officially emerging at this time, in the context of a wider story about corruption, graft and secret payments at FIFA contributes to a sense of unease and has the potential to do enormous damage to our reputation.

“In the absence of a full and proper explanation of the process which led to this payment, how it was accounted for and how it was spent, very negative and damaging theories and accusations will fill that space.

“At a time of hope and expectation for Irish Soccer, fans deserve better than that. I would call on the FAI to come forward at the earliest opportunity and spell out in full detail what happened here and to clarify that this is the only such payment that the FAI has received from the international organisation.”