FOOTBALL : FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has confirmed the Republic of Ireland will not be given a place at next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke has confirmed the Republic of Ireland will not be given a place at next year’s World Cup in South Africa.
The Football Association of Ireland appealed to the world governing body to let them in as the 33rd team after Thierry Henry’s handball helped France edge their qualifying play-off last month.
“We have to be clear that Ireland will not be invited to play at the 2010 World Cup,” said Valcke at a news conference on Tuesday. “It’s impossible. There is no hope that there will be more than 32 teams at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”
FIFA’s executive committee are holding an emergency meeting on Wednesday in Cape Town where the matter will be discussed but Valcke’s comments have dashed any faint hopes the Irish may have been harbouring.
Meanwhile, Liam Brady has branded FIFA president Sepp Blatter a “loose cannon” over his handling of their audacious appeal.
“He (Blatter) is a bit of a loose cannon,” said Brady. “He’s an embarrassment to FIFA. We asked that to see what FIFA’s reaction was going to be. I think when we asked for that we knew there was very little chance of that happening.
“We asked because we wanted to have them respond in a measured way, and see what they had to say. After all Mr Blatter was responsible for the (match) official. He didn’t say anything about the appalling mistake the official made to miss a blatant handball.”
Brady said the FAI had expected FIFA to consider the ’33rd team’ request in private. And the former Republic midfielder was shocked when Blatter told a news conference the FAI’s appeal had been lodged with FIFA.
“I’m afraid Mr Blatter is a law unto himself,” Brady said. “I thought it was very disrespectful how he presented this fact.
“He’s currently ignored most of the controversial things that went on that evening.”