June 5, 2015 / 12:50 PM / 5 years ago

Soccer-FIFA says paid Ireland 5 million euros, not dollars

DUBLIN, June 5 (Reuters) - FIFA paid Ireland’s FA (FAI) 5 million euros to avoid a legal case over a controversial World Cup playoff defeat, 50 percent more than the $5 million it reported on Thursday at 2009 exchange rates, world soccer’s governing body said.

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, FIFA came to a financial agreement with the FAI not to proceed with legal action to overturn the result.

The head of the Irish FA told state radio RTE on Thursday that the deal was reached within days of a speech by FIFA president Sepp Blatter on Nov. 30 2009.

FIFA on Thursday for the first time admitted a payment, which it said was $5 million. But on Friday it said it had actually paid 5 million euros, the equivalent of $7.5 million at exchange rates at the end of November 2009. ($1 = 0.9005 euros) (Reporting by Conor Humphries; editing by Justin Palmer)

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