FIFA president Sepp Blatter has ruled out any financial compensation for the Republic of Ireland in the aftermath of their World Cup play-off exit to France, but has again sympathised with Giovanni Trapattoni’s team.
The world governing body today revealed the prize money for next year’s World Cup in South Africa will rise by 61% from the previous edition in Germany, with all the 32 qualifiers also set to pocket $1m (€0.67m) prior to the competition to help aid their preparation.
The Irish will miss out on any of those rewards, though, after their bid to reach the finals was ended by Thierry Henry’s handball and the subsequent goal from William Gallas which helped Les Bleus edge their two-legged qualifying tie last month.
FIFA’s executive committee held a meeting at Robben Island, after which Blatter said: “If you start to compensate teams which are not qualified, then you will have others coming to us.
“But you are right, when it comes to this, where all the world is watching - this obvious foul play with the hands – then there may be some moral compensation for the Football Association of Ireland (FAI).
“I spoke about humanism earlier, so moral compensation can mean anything which comes from a compliment to a special award or to a prize.
“But this we have to fix together with the Association and make it clear that financial compensation is not exactly what is foreseen in such cases. But the moral compensation is perhaps something they deserve.”
The FAI have already had several requests for a replay of the game rejected, while their plea to be included as a 33rd team has also fallen on deaf ears.
All eyes are currently on Cape Town ahead of the draw for the finals, which takes place in the city tomorrow.
Only 32 teams will be in South Africa next year, but Blatter revealed they will be sitting down with the Irish next week to plot the way forward.