The only place to watch the race for the title live
Re-live the year's first Major at Augusta
Daniel Storey has praise for Olivier Giroud after a soldiering performance against West Ham.
Hamilton or Rosberg? Will Merc maintain their perfect run? Can Ferrari prove Bahrain was a one-off?
Follow the latest from the written press with the best gossip and speculation from the papers.
|team 1||score||team 2|
|France||2 - 0||Netherlands|
|team 1||score||team 2|
Fifa has called an extraordinary meeting of its executive committee following 'incidents at the play-offs for the World Cup, match control (refereeing) and irregularities in the football betting market'.
It has been arranged that members of the world football governing body will gather in Cape Town on 2nd December after the recent play-off matches created a number of talking points.
The meeting has also been called by Fifa president Sepp Blatter in response to hundreds of arrests across Europe by officers investigating corruption in football.
Fifa said in a statement: "Due to recent events in the world of football, namely incidents at the play-offs for the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa, match control (refereeing) and irregularities in the football betting market, the Fifa president has called an extraordinary meeting of the executive committee.
"The extraordinary meeting of the executive committee will take place in Cape Town on 2nd December 2009."
Republic of Ireland were eliminated by France, with Thierry Henry causing outrage as he handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas' extra-time goal which secured a 2-1 aggregate victory for Les Bleus.
But Sky Sports News understands that Fifa's stance has not changed since rejecting Republic of Ireland's request for a replay.
The Football Association of Ireland said in a statement: "In relation to this evening's announcement that Fifa president Sepp Blatter has called an extraordinary meeting of the Fifa executive committee to discuss incidents at the play-offs, the FAI confirmed that it heard about this meeting today through Fifa's press release.
"Should we be asked to make any contribution, the FAI would be happy to do so for the improvement of the game."
The African play-off match between Algeria and Egypt was also marred by scenes of off-field violence.
I don't think you guys realise it, but the issue of whether the France-Ireland match should be replayed won't even be discussed at this meeting. Fifa may talk about the possibility of bringing in a video ref but you can be damn sure there won't be any firm decisions made at this meeting! It's all pretty sickening. Cheating needs to be stamped out of the game. People have these warped views of top players and not a whole lot is usually said when top players dive against smaller teams to win penaltys etc. It's kind of accepted because everyone expects the big teams to win. But let's face it, games should be completely fair and if a small club outplays a big club, and the big players don't perform, why not give the little guys justice once in a while. I for one hate when cheating spoils a match, even when the decision goes in favour of my team!! It's all rather dumb...
Posted 17:18 24th November 2009
i know we were cheated out of the World Cup. No world cup in 8 years but we could of won by 2 or 3 goals. Damien duff could of lobed over the keeper but he hit it strait at him. john o sheas miss. when Keane brought it out of play (hard to keep in though) but they were wasted so we could of one. 3 2 . 4 2. 3 1 so keep in mind it wasn't just Henry fault it was are missed chances as well.but a ref in each half a 4th official on either side of the pitch. A Ref behind each goal post 4 posts 4 refs. it would cost about 6,000 extra pair games could the players of the fa not pay that fee per game
Posted 23:01 23rd November 2009
Lets face it Football is all about advertising revenue and money. Which country has the biggest population and marketability? T he days when this was a sport are long gone. "Lets kick out Racism," and "Fair Play" slogans are just paying lip service to political correctness. The people who run the sport we love are out of touch with the masses and they have shamed and disgraced the game so much so that it is riddled with corruption (hence their emergency meeting). Sadly we all know what the meeting is designed to do and it is not for transparency thats for sure, it will be a whitewash to ensure their own survival at the expense of what was once a great sport instead of a predictable farce. Simple requests like video technology to help officials and ensure Fair Play will be ignored yet again for reasons of their own blinkered outdated thinking. Their only goal is self preservation of cushy jobs for the boys.
Posted 22:40 23rd November 2009
I can remember plenty of times where my team has been cheating out of a victory or into a defeat, as I sure most other football fans can remember examples involving their teams too. The champs league final springs to mind.. but players cheat and refs make mistakes... it happens... yes it's upsetting and unfair. Some even argue that it helps to add a little of the drama that makes us love it... And although I would have loved to see Ireland there as they have fans that would actually add to the party atmosphere that makes the world cup special, replaying the match would be wrong. Instead, the case should finally cement the need for video referees. It would help eradicate these decisions and so many more and I think overall the flow of the game will not be effected as less there would likely be less divers (not wanting to run the risk of being caught) and so less overall time wasted. The other thing that needs to come from this is retrospective action against players (at a level similar to that if they had been caught during the game) but more importantly, real action against referees. They should be obliged to explain decisions to the media and managers after the game and should be punished and fined the same way players are when they do wrong. The football governors demand respect for referees but then make them into these untouchable, unaccountable figures (freedom of speech when talking about referees performances seems not to apply either). Until this changes they will never get the respect they believe they deserve.
Posted 22:32 23rd November 2009
This situation makes FIFA look absolutely ridiculous. They have to introduce technology, its the biggest sport in the world and is being made to look amateurish. Im a Northern Ireland fan and I think the Republic over the 2 legs looked a better team and would probably have put on a better show at the finals. France in comparison with all their star players look a complete shambles.
Posted 22:25 23rd November 2009
Well I don't think there is much chance of a replay. This is probably posturing and a PR effort by FIFA. They know the buck stops with them. However if through this meeting they decide to implement video refs, as an Irishman I will be happy. If each team got only 2 or 3 appeals per game, (similar to american Football) it would not slow the tempo of the game as teams would try to save their appeals until they really knew something was wrong. It would also reduce simulation as the player would know their dive would be replayed and they would be yellow-carded.
Posted 22:17 23rd November 2009
How come nobody is talking about Martin Hansson, the referee? This guy should never be allowed to ref again. What a disgrace!
Posted 22:11 23rd November 2009
Cheating happens in football daily. Ireland are unlucky its happened to them but they cant replay the game. Otherwise whats next?! Everytime someone dives to win a penalty, cheat to get a player sent off, when a player goes of injured due to a off the ball incident. Football is great how it is. I dont think we need video replays. If we had the extra officials behind the goal like in the europa league it probally wouldnt have happened!
Posted 21:31 23rd November 2009
This is Blatter paying lip service, he got what he wanted and that was France through. I hope Henry is decent enough to be very embarassed while carrying the "Fair Play " banner at the World Cup. Cheating will now be rife because FIFA have give it the o k as long as the ref doesn't see it.
Posted 21:23 23rd November 2009
Being Irish, I feel cheated especially considering my opinion of Henry prior to the game, no longer an ambassador just a self confessed cheat. I don't think a replay will be of any good to Ireland, as Roy Keane said, they missed their chances, same old same old. But I do think Henry should be punished as League and Premiership players are punished post match. He should be banned for qualifying rounds of World Cup Finals. Its neither here nor there that both he and Gallas were offside at the time of the free kick, its a testament to the morals of the players whenever the Europa League are field testing 2 "additional assistants". 22 over paid professionals on the pitch need supervised and refereed by 6 officials to prevent cheating. Says more about the players than the game! But had an Irish player have done the same, the Irish would quite happily take the final result, when you've won by whatever means you don't put your hand up and say "by the way i cheated there!" Good luck France, you're gonna need it!!
Posted 21:17 23rd November 2009
The ref came out and said he wanted France to go to the WC and was in favor of France so Ireland had no chance. They were cheated out of the WC. Its a shame.
Posted 21:11 23rd November 2009
Would the reaction be the same if Ireland had done the same thing to bump France out of the world cup? What would England fans say if Rooney did that to win the world cup? if this happend to England then the English fans would be in uproar, infact if this happend to any other team they would be in uproar, but if it benefitted the team then those same people who are called for henrys head wouldnt mind it if the team they supported qualified or even won the world cup in the same manner. You can just picture it now, if Rooney did the same thing then the England fans would say that the Ref didnt see it, it's up to him to control the game and so on.(i am only using England as a example here) These things happen in Football, if FIFA were to replay the game we would never hear the end of it and every week you would have a replayed game, the season or any other tournement would never finish, it would be the end of Football as we know it.
Posted 21:04 23rd November 2009
Lets face the fact Sepp Blatter & Platini have and will always be jealous of the premier league the British Isles and the Republic of Ireland, they always have something to say about either one of us. The only way football will get better is when both have been sacked....... what do they actually do apart from pick faults, especialy with the premiership. How can Platini hold his head up high now, the only proper thing ......well 'MAN' thing is to have a rematch, for the good of football!! Ireland are the true winners so Republic of Ireland hold your head up high!
Posted 20:51 23rd November 2009
at the end of the day ireland were cheated out of their spot in the world cup! but fifa are always gonna back the big boys, if the situation was reversed, ireland would be forced to replay the game against france but hey i guess fifa has one rule for one country and a completely different rule for another as long as its a "big" country that is
Posted 20:43 23rd November 2009
Do we need a thousand messages saying Henry is a cheat and Ireland should be put through? Rather than crying at Henry why don't the Irish look at the glorious chances they missed? What about playing to the whistle and not waving their hands in the air? What about the dubious decision to award a penalty against Georgia? Lets open a can of worms just to suit the Irish? What about when England have been on the wrong end of a decision? What about against Portugal and Argentina when goals were disallowed. France are through, Henry shouldn't be punished, tough luck Ireland....
Posted 20:40 23rd November 2009
I agree with the idea of banning Henry from the World Cup. At the end of the day, it was one man's actions, not the whole team. These top flight players have the responsibility, when they have the attention of the whole world, to be professional and respect the rules of the game. FIFA should be ashamed of themselves for not pulling him in front of a panel the very next day, not even a question whether it was cheating or not. I thought they existed to uphold the laws and rules that Henry has just spat on.
Posted 20:34 23rd November 2009
Do we have to keep talking about the Ireland game its one match among many where teams have been cheated why should they be treated any dif to the rest of us? Besides there are more important things to discuss i feel in this meeting which is mainly the corruption which is so evident in football with strange refereeing and not just in International football but League,Cups, etc.etc This meeting for me is 4 years to late this should of been after the embarrassing match fixing fiasco which was going on in Italian football. Fifa have lost control of the game and Blatter and platini are doing nothing but making matters worse both these complete numptys should step down and let someone with a clue take over and run it the right way.
Posted 19:56 23rd November 2009
Personaly I would like to see a fair play.But I think every body is trying to blame Henry even though it was clearly a big mistake by the ref, Did I read any thing like France deserve a free kick from the spot?Then why didn't just leave this thing on it.So try to understand that France was cheated first and then rewarded.And by the end of the day we will see them in S. Africa. GOOD LUCK FRANCE AND HENRY!!!!!!
Posted 19:46 23rd November 2009
Ho ho ho, Blatter calls a meeting of FiFa, to discuss corruption allegations in European football matches. Fox? Chickens? You couldn't make it up.
Posted 19:36 23rd November 2009
For all the furore stirred up by this incident, people should remember one thing - Thierry Henry's crime is not so much what he did, but rather the fact that abysmal officiating allowed him to get away with it. I believe he has shown as much grace and remorse as one could reasonably expect given the worldwide scrutiny of the incident (admitting guilt, apologising and leading the call for a replay). However, the act was an instinctive one on his part rather than premeditated and certainly no worse than similar incidents I have witnessed at many a match, some of which were punished and others not. Had the referee or his assistant done their job and penalised him at the time there would have been no mention of the incident at all post-match. It is sad that the focus of rage and outrage falls at the feet of a man few could argue has been an example of sportsmanship and good character throughout his career rather than the mind-bogglingly inept officials.
Posted 19:36 23rd November 2009
Sky Sports pundit Tony Gale believes Gary Cahill has emerged as England's most important defender ahead of the World Cup.
Looking ahead to this summer's World Cup, we speak to Andre Ooijer to assess Holland's chances
With boss Luis Van Gaal set for one last hurrah, Pete Hall speaks to Andre Ooijer to examine Holland's chances in Brazil.
Read the thoughts and opinions of Jamie Carragher with skysports.com
Franck Ribery, Samir Nasri and Nicolas Anelka have all been criticised by former France coach Raymond Domenech.
France coach Didier Deschamps refused to play down the importance of last night's 2-1 friendly win over Italy.
Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris has hinted he could be open to a move in January to find more first-team opportunities.
Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis struck a second-half winner as France came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over Italy.
Paul Pogba accepts that Juventus had little option but to suspend him, but claims a 'misunderstanding' led to action.