Wednesday, December 2, 2009
FAI criticise FIFA President Blatter
The Football Association Of Ireland today voiced its displeasure that issues in the meeting with FIFA were 'singled out in public by FIFA President Sepp Blatter despite his assurances that the meeting would remain private.'
Blatter jokingly revealed at a press conference that the FAI had requested a 33rd nation place at the World Cup in South Africa.
The FAI also said it requested that the matter would not be raised at today's FIFA Executive Committee meeting.
The Association said it knew an additional place at the World Cup was never a possibility, while also criticising FIFA president Sepp Blatter's handling of the issue.
The full FAI statement.
The Football Association of Ireland acknowledges that the suggestion of an additional place at the World Cup is not a possibility and has requested yesterday that it will not be raised at today's FIFA Executive Committee meeting.
The FAI has already clarified that this matter was peripheral, was not raised in any of its formal written submissions to FIFA, and was explored only fleetingly as part of a wide-ranging 90 minute discussion with that body. Regrettably the matter appears to have been singled out in public by Mr Blatter despite his assurances that the meeting would remain private.
Instead of diverting attention, we would prefer that Mr Blatter uses this opportunity to deal with the issues which have been raised formally for the benefit of football worldwide.
1) Ensure that FIFA's rules cannot be changed mid-way through a tournament, for whatever reason, commercial or otherwise.
2) Introduce video technology for matches at the highest level which has been resisted for too long and which would have avoided the error that led, in part, to today's meeting.
3) Implement additional goal line assistant referees for all FIFA international matches.
4) In future, introduce stronger sanctions for players involved in match defining breaches of the Laws of the Game.
5) Issue a clear statement that FIFA does not condone breaches of the Laws of the Game. For a man in Mr Blatter's position to empathise with someone who scored a goal by cheating is inappropriate.
The FAI raised these matters only so that the likelihood of such incidents recurring be reduced and now leaves their consideration in the hands of football's world governing body.