Ireland Asks for Cup Spot After Thierry Handball

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JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - Ireland has asked FIFA to be allowed into the World Cup as an extra team after Thierry Henry’s handball helped France eliminate the Irish in a playoff.

FIFA president Sepp Blatter says that the Irish have written to soccer’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 tying goal Nov. 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 Wednesday.

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