Sepp Blatter has called a meeting of FIFA chiefs following Republic of Ireland’s controversial World Cup elimination at the hands of France, but the world governing body is not considering a U-turn over its decision to refuse a replay.
Blatter has called an extraordinary meeting of FIFA’s executive committee to deal with the fall-out of the match in Paris where Thierry Henry’s handball led to the goal that caused Ireland’s defeat in the play-off.
The meeting will also deal with the violence sparked by Egypt and Algeria’s World Cup play-off and the arrests across Europe by police investigating corruption in football.
One possible outcome of the meeting could be a proposal to fast-track UEFA’s current experiment in the Europa League of having an extra assistant referee behind each goal-line in time for next summer’s World Cup finals.
Scottish chief executive Gordon Smith, who sits on IFAB along with the three other home nations and FIFA, said: “I’ve no doubt that (UEFA president) Michel Platini will use this incident to push the system and they may now decide to put it to IFAB that they want to have it at the World Cup.
“I feel that it has its advantages at the highest levels of the games. When there’s massive TV coverage, the problems are highlighted all over the world, so this is something we may have to look at.”
Blatter will also address the issue of seeding, both for the play-offs – which were criticised by Ireland – and the finals. He is also expected to express his concern over allegations of match-fixing.
UEFA confirmed last week that they has been assisting the German authorities with investigations into corruption and match-fixing allegations in domestic league games in Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland and Turkey. A further 12 Europa League and three Champions League games are also under scrutiny.
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 2 December 2009.”