FIFA says no to Ireland's request

Actress Charlize Theron to host Fridays World Cup draw in Cape Town

FIFA says no to Ireland's request


Charlize Theron

FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke told a news conference three days before the draw for the finals in South Africa that 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,” he said. “There's no hope to give that there will be any more than 32 teams at the World Cup in South Africa.”

FIFA president Sepp Blatter revealed on Monday 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 playoff match.

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

But he said Blatter, who runs soccer's world governing body, 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.

Theron named joint host

South African actress Charlize Theron has landed the leading lady's role in Friday's draw for next year's World Cup finals in her home country, FIFA announced on Tuesday.
Theron will be joint host of the 90-minute show to be televised live to an estimated global audience of more than two hundred million people in 200 countries at 1900 local time (1700 GMT).

She will join FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke to host the procedure of placing the 32 finalists into eight groups of four teams for the tournament which runs from June 11 to July 11. 

FIFA will announce which teams will be seeded for the draw at a news conference on Wednesday.

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