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Blatter calls emergency FIFA meeting

Sepp Blatter has acted after a series of incidents at the World Cup playoffs and a betting scandal.
Sepp Blatter has acted after a series of incidents at the World Cup playoffs and a betting scandal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • FIFA calls crisis meeting of their executive committee ahead of World Cup draw
  • Meeting will discuss incidents at the World Cup playoffs and betting corruption
  • Theirry Henry's handball assist to knock out Ireland expected to be high on agenda
  • German prosecutors have made 17 arrests in European-wide betting scandal

(CNN) -- FIFA president Sepp Blatter has called a crisis meeting of the executive committee of the world governing body after the Republic of Ireland's controversial defeat to France in the World Cup playoffs.

Thierry Henry's blatant handball to set up William Gallas for the decisive goal in the tie left FIFA exposed to widespread criticism, particularly after it ruled against a replay of the playoff.

Henry nearly quit Les Blues

In the same week, German prosecutors announced the results of their investigations with European governing body UEFA into a massive betting ring, who have allegedly rigged the results over 200 matches, including Europa League and Champions League matches.

Blatter has not made a public comment as the row over Henry's handball raged, but on Monday FIFA issued a statement announcing the special meeting in Cape Town on December 2, two days ahead of the draw for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

"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," read the statement.

Due to recent events in the world of football, namely incidents at the play-offs for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, and irregularities in the football betting market, the FIFA president has called an extraordinary meeting
--FIFA statement

It did not go into any detail about the incidents referred too, but there was also widespread fan violence at the African playoffs between Algeria and Egypt as well as the furore created by Henry's assist, which was not spotted by referee Martin Hansson.

Irish football officials, who have made repeated demands to FIFA for a replay gave their reacton to the announcement later on Monday.

"Should we be asked to make any contribution, the FAI would be happy to do so for the improvement of the game," a statement read.

FIFA has been urged to introduce video replays and employ extra match officials in the wake of the incident which was seen by millions who watched the match on television.

A total of 17 arrests have already been made in the German corruption probe which a UEFA official at the press conference in Bochum last Friday called the "most serious" facing his organization.