Ireland wants to be 33rd World Cup team

Ireland has asked Fifa to be allowed into the World Cup as a 33rd team after Thierry Henry’s handball helped France eliminate the Irish in a playoff.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter revealed on Monday that the Irish had written to football’s world governing body asking to be let into the 2010 tournament in South Africa because of Henry’s handball.

Henry handled the ball before setting up William Gallas for the equalizing goal on the November 18 that put France into the World Cup at the expense of Ireland.

Fifa has already rejected a call by the Irish for a replay.

Blatter told a conference in Johannesburg that the Irish asked: “Can we be team No. 33 at the World Cup?”

Fifa will discuss the request at a meeting of its executive committee in Cape Town on Wednesday.—Sapa-AP

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