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Incredible Allegation That Irish Players Were Paid Money To Prevent Injury To Messi In 2010

Conor Neville
By Conor Neville
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Argentina's leading daily newspaper 'La Nacion' has made a strange allegation today that the Irish players were paid $10,000 to prevent an injury to Lionel Messi during the 2010 friendly in the Aviva Stadium.

The paper claims the friendly match in question was suggested by the veteran head of the Argentine Football Association and a close friend of Sepp Blatter, Julio Grondona.

They allege that the friendly was agreed as part of the deal to calm Ireland following the Thierry Henry affair.

However, this is not true.

The friendly was agreed on 31 May, 2009 (see RTE report here). This was six months before the Henry handball. This detail blows a hole in this fantastical tale.

The friendly had been scheduled for 11 August.


However, the paper reports that Barcelona were on tour in Asia and were not happy with the arrangement. The paper states that they were especially fearful that Messi would pick up an injury.


The article states that the Argentine association were unable to find the $5 million to pay for insurance for Messi. Grondona's solution was to give $10,000 to every Irish player so as to ensure Messi would not get injured.


The paper offers no proof that this payment was made. They only allege that Grondona suggested it. 

Given that the paper has already made a basic error in claiming that the friendly was arranged in response to the Henry goal, the other claims feel exceptionally dubious and should be treated with scepticism.

The FAI have since made a statement conclusively refuting the allegations (see here).



Grondona died in 2014. He was later blamed by FIFA for signing off on the accounts which saw the South African FA transfer $10 million to an account controlled by Jack Warner.

See also: Kevin Kilbane Responds To Outlandish Messi Allegations Made By Argentinian Newspaper

Read more: Sepp Blatter's Resignation Came After These Important Allegations Today


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