BBC Sport football


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 12:07 GMT, Monday, 30 November 2009

Republic of Ireland ask for extra 2010 World Cup place

The Republic of Ireland players remonstrate with the referee after William Gallas' goal
The Republic players remonstrate with the referee after Gallas's goal

Fifa's Sepp Blatter has revealed the Republic of Ireland have requested a spot in the 2010 World Cup finals as an extra team after their play-off defeat.

The Republic lost on aggregate to an extra-time goal when France's Thierry Henry handled the ball in the build-up.

"I will bring it to the attention of the Executive Committee," said Blatter.

The president of football's world governing body added that goal-line technology and extra referees would be considered for the South Africa finals.

The executive committee will hold an emergency meeting in Cape Town on Wednesday, two days ahead of the draw for the finals, to assess the idea of extra match officials, one behind each goal.

If they recommend the proposal it will go before football's rule-making international board in Zurich in March for a final decision.

We must fight cheating - Blatter

"It's possible we will make additional officials for the World Cup but we have to see if it is feasible or realistic," added Blatter. "Something has to be done in terms of match control.

"We have only one man on the field of play who shall intervene in this matter. He has two assistants for the time being, perhaps more in the future. He has to make an immediate decision.

"He has only two eyes. So match control is now is on the agenda. How shall we avoid such situations as we have seen in this very specific match?"


Regarding the Republic's case, Blatter added that Costa Rica, who also believe they were unfairly denied a place in the finals - this time because of an offside goal from Uruguay - would also have to be acknowledged if extra places are discussed.

The Football Association of Ireland released a statement, confirming Blatter had agreed to a meeting in Zurich last Friday, which lasted for 90 minutes.

"A lot was discussed at the meeting and at one stage the FAI asked if Ireland could be accommodated into the World Cup 2010," read the statement.

"Other suggestions were also made to mitigate against further occurrences of such incidents, including the use of additional goal-line assistant referees for Fifa international matches, further use of video technology for matches at the highest level, stronger provisions to discourage players from engaging in such blatant breaches of the laws of the game and provisions to strengthen referee selection for such important matches."

The Republic originally asked for the play-off to be replayed but that request was turned down by Fifa.

The man at the centre of the storm, former Arsenal striker Henry, released a statement two days after the infamous match in which he said a replay would have been "the fairest solution".

Print Sponsor

see also
Fifa turns down Irish replay plea
20 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Keane has no sympathy for Irish
20 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Reaction to Republic of Ireland exit
19 Nov 09 |  Football
The hand of Henry
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Anger on the airwaves in Dublin
19 Nov 09 |  Europe
Irish 'cheated' by Henry handball
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
It was a handball - Henry
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
France 1-1 Rep of Ire (agg 2-1)
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites