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Ireland ask to be 33rd World Cup team

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-01

Ireland have appealed to world governing body FIFA to be allowed to compete as a 33rd team in next year's World Cup finals, FIFA president Sepp Blatter has reported.

AFP - Ireland have asked to be allowed to compete as a 33rd team in the World Cup, FIFA president Sepp Blatter said Monday.

Irish players launched furious protests when they were eliminated in a play-off with France, after a controversial handball by French captain Thierry Henry led to the decisive French goal.

"The delegation of the Football of Association of Ireland, they came to FIFA and naturally they are absolutely unhappy with what happened. They agree the match cannot be replayed," Blatter said at the opening of the Soccerex football business conference here.

"They have not asked for any sanctions... Very humbly, they have asked 'Can't we be team number 33 in the World Cup?'," he said, drawing laughter from the crowd.

"Finally they asked for that. I will bring it to the attention of the executive committee," he said.

France's play-off with Ireland was poised at 1-1 on aggregate in the second leg in Paris when Henry controlled the ball with his hand before teeing up William Gallas for the decisive goal.

FIFA's executive committee meets Wednesday in Cape Town, ahead of the final draw for the World Cup two days later.
 

Date created : 2009-11-30

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