FIFA rules out possibility of Ireland playing in next year's football world cup

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London, Dec. 2 (ANI): FIFA has ruled out any possibility of Ireland playing in next year's Football World Cup finals as the 33rd team.

The Guardian quoted FIFA's general secretary Jérôme Valcke, as saying that the Republic of Ireland should not entertain hopes of being given an extra place because of France's controversial handball goal against them.

"I wouldn't say it's a nonsense but it is impossible. There's no hope to give that there will be any more than 32 teams at the World Cup in South Africa," Valcke said at a news conference.

On Monday, FIFA President Sepp Blatter had revealed that Ireland had requested a place at the finals in addition to the 32 qualified teams because they felt cheated by Thierry Henry's controversial goal for France in their world cup qualifier match.

Since Ireland had made an official request, the matter would have to go before Wednesday's organising committee meeting in Cape Town, Valcke said.

However, according to Valcke, Blatter had told the Irish very clearly they had no chance of success.

Valcke said there would be too many organisational problems to overcome and that other teams who felt penalised by wrong refereeing decisions could also come forward and make similar claims.

"We had 853 qualifying matches. It's sad that we are talking about just one game," Valcke said. (ANI)

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