Sepp Blatter is mad, but he isn’t that mad.
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 to an extra-time goal against France when Thierry Henry handled the ball during the build-up.
“I will bring it to the attention of the Executive Committee,” said Blatter.
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”. (BBC Sport)
Lets be honest, this is just non starter of the highest extreme. In many ways this is just a complete waste of time and as much as I feel for the Irish and the way they were cheated out of a place at South Africa 2010, these attempts to clutch at straws is almost laughable.
Lets think for a moment and imagine that Sepp Blatter, insane as he is, puts forwards these proposals it is clear they will only be a needless waste of time and will never, and I repeat NEVER, get approval. Apart from anything else, how do you go about adding Ireland to the 32 teams already present? You make one group a five team group, then someone will cry foul that they are in a group of 5 trying to qualify for the knock out stages as opposed to a group of four.
There is no precedent at any decent level of professional football of this type and FIFA will never go for it. Where would this end if they did decide to do right by Ireland? Costa Rica appear to want to give such a last chance saloon scenario a go and they are doing so only on the basis of an offside goal, something that happens on a regular basis.
If I were an Irish fan I would see the World Cup as an occasion to follow France’s progress and construct Thierry Henry shaped voodoo dolls in preparation and hope of some sort of footballing disaster to occur.