FIFA to reject new Irish 2010 request

A top FIFA official has ruled out any chance of the Republic of Ireland being handed an extra place at the 2010 World Cup finals in the wake of the Thierry Henry handball controversy.

Irish football officials had requested that a 33rd berth be created for next year's tournament in South Africa after the world governing body refused their bid to replay the second leg of the playoff against France.

Ireland lost 2-1 on aggregate as William Gallas leveled the scores on the night in extra-time in Paris after striker Henry handled the ball in the build-up to the goal.

"We have to be clear that Ireland will not be invited to play at the 2010 World Cup," FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke told reporters at a press conference in Cape Town on Tuesday ahead of Friday's draw for the showpiece event.

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