Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, is quoted by the Independent as saying ""Naturally they [Ireland] were unhappy with what happened and asked very humbly whether they could be team number 33 ...I will bring it to the attention of the executive committee but if we do that, we will also have to bring in Costa Rica." The report contains more gems from Blatter: ""On one match it is decided if you are in or out and this is not the spirit behind this World Cup. We must have a look at this. There is so much at stake."
This is utter tosh. As noted in my previous post on the topic, the rules are very clear and the referee is the lord and master on the pitch. The game was France's after the appalling referee-error, and much as we would like Ireland to be in the World Cup, Blatter's blather won't result in any miracles.
RTE is also reporting that Blatter is considering adding extra officials to prevent such incidents in the future: " The item contains several pious pronouncements from Blatter: "It's possible we will make additional officials for the World Cup but we have to see if it is feasible or realistic. Something has to be done in terms of match control."
Why not go for the simpler solution and introduce video review? Adding more officials is more expensive and does little to solve the problem of human error.
The RTE report contains more blather from Blatter: "How can it happen that all over the world, through tv cameras, we have seen through a cheating handball that a pass was given for a goal? Everyone is asking what is and what isn't fair play. The highest crime in football is touching the ball with the hands." Lessons on ethics and fair play from Blatter? It would be hard to find a more dubious source!
If your appetite for Blatter's blather is not completely sated after all this, have a look at this excellent post at the One Team in Ireland blog.