Monday, November 30, 2009

With the excitement building for Friday's World Cup draw, the Irish controversy around their defeat to France is still rumbling on and has taken on a new and unexpected twist.

The Irish FA have asked Fifa to allow them to take their place in South Africa as an extra side.

Surprisingly, Fifa haven't discounted their plea altogether and will decide whether they will grant the Irish their wish by referring the matter to the executive committee, presumably before Friday's draw!

Furthermore, Fifa have stated that if they were to consider Ireland's request, they would also have to look at the plight of Costa Rica, who lost out in their playoff to Uruguay thanks to a controversial offside goal.

So are Fifa really going to seriously consider the Irish request or are they hoping that so much of the furore will have died down by now that they can dismiss it and no one, apart from the Irish, will really care?

It's hard to see how such a request could be processed at such a late stage of proceedings. How would the administration of it all work? The tv coverage, the fixture dates, what group could they be placed into? Why should team be penalised by having five teams in a group? Can they add two more to bring it up to 36 and let Scotland in just for the hell of it?!!

The whole thing has become an embarrassment. At least Fifa's announcement that they will be considering using goal-line technology and extra officials in South Africa may go some way to helping prevent some of the future controversies the game will throw up, but until we get television replays, there will still always be something for us to get all worked up about!

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