(CNN) -- World governing body FIFA president Sepp Blatter has claimed the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) asked to be included in the World Cup finals as an extra team following the Republic of Ireland's controversial play-off exit to France.
Ireland lost to a play-off extra-time goal in Paris scored by William Gallas after Thierry Henry handled the ball in the build-up -- and Blatter has admitted for the first time the World Cup play-off system must be examined as a result of Henry's handball and the controversy which surrounded the match.
However, he suggested that it was unlikely that the Irish would be added to South Africa 2010 as the 33rd team.
FIFA is holding an extraordinary executive committee meeting on Wednesday to deal with a number pressing issues, with fair play at the top of the agenda after Henry's infamous extra-time handball.
Speaking at the Soccerex conference in Johannesburg two days before the Cape Town meeting, Blatter said the current rules would have to undergo serious examination.
"On one match it is decided if you are in or out and this is not the spirit behind this World Cup," said Blatter. "We must have a look at this. There is so much at stake."
With a replay ruled out, Blatter claimed the FAI had subsequently requested to be included as an extra country at the World Cup.
"Naturally they were unhappy with what happened and asked very humbly whether they could be team number 33," said Blatter. "I will bring it to the attention of the executive committee but if we do that, we will also have to bring in Costa Rica."
The Costa Ricans believe they too were eliminated unfairly -- this time by an offside goal scored by Uruguay -- but Blatter's tone suggested it was inconceivable FIFA would add any more countries to the 32-team finals in South Africa next year.
Blatter also gave the broadest hint yet the use of two extra officials behind the goal, currently being trialled in the Europa League, could be introduced in time for the World Cup.
"It's possible we will make additional officials for the World Cup but we have to see if it is feasible or realistic. Something has to be done in terms of match control."
If Wednesday's meeting gives this the green light for any rule change, it will have to go the International FA Board's annual meeting in March for final approval. "
"How can it happen that all over the world, through TV cameras, we have seen through a cheating handball that a pass was given for a goal?" said Blatter.
"Everyone is asking what is and what isn't fair play. The highest crime in football is touching the ball with the hands."