Ireland Asks To Be Added As An Extra Team For The 2010 World Cup
Irish national soccer team was denied their chance to take part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in a playoff match against France when French striker Thierry Henry played handball to score the goal that decided the match and saw France advance into the finals of next year's World Cup. The handball caused a lot of controversy in the soccer world, prompting Ireland's Federation of Football to file a complaint with FIFA and ask for a replay. However, FIFA did not fulfill the request, saying all referee decisions are final and cannot be overturned.
But, the Irish are not giving up. And today, the Federation asked that the Irish team be added as an extra team for the 2010 World Cup. Usually, 32 teams advance into the final stages of the World Cup. That would mean, Ireland would have to be made the 33rd participant.
Interestingly, FIFA did not dismiss Ireland's request right away, but instead said it would consider the suggestion at the extraordinary meeting to be held on December 4.
Irish sources have privately acknowledged they are not expecting their request to be successful, but have asked FIFA to consider compensating them in some other way in future, perhaps by being seeded in the draw for the 2014 finals.
Today, FIFA also announced today that it would consider allowing extra match officials to help referees on the pitch during the 2010 World Cup.
"This is human beings trying to get an advantage and this is not good and we have to fight against that. 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.