Mourinho feels Ireland's pain over €5m FIFA payment
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has expressed his sympathy for the Irish public and former Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni, as the row over the €5m deal with FIFA following Thierry Henry's infamous handball in the 2010 World Cup qualifier rumbles on.
FAI chief John Delaney confirmed last week that he sanctioned the payment from FIFA after talks with their President Sepp Blatter, on the condition that he agreed to drop any legal complaints over the refereeing decision that ended Ireland's dreams of a place in the World Cup finals.
Now Mourinho has entered the debate, suggesting the corruption that has long been suspected within FIFA was something that he laughed about until it was revealed that Delaney and his FAI officials were bought off by Sepp Blatter and his cronies.
Speaking at the launch of BT Sports new European football channel in London, the Blues boss admitted the joke turned sour when he heard about the Irish deal with FIFA.
"Until his moment, I laugh about the corruption at FIFA," said Mourinho. "Until now, we are just speaking outside the four lines of the pitch. Corruption means the World Cup goes here and there and so on. It's not really my job to talk about this.
"But when I hear that a country that should be in the World Cup and that millions of Irish people that should be enjoying its country in the World Cup, but they didn't. Then they close their mouth and their emotions and their hearts because somebody got €5m....I am happy that I am not Trapattoni."
Mourinho's comments add fuel to the fire simmering under this story, with Delaney coming under fire in some quarters for his role in the deal that has had football talking for the last week.