Sunday 16 December 2018

Theron has a ball at FIFA's expense

Jason O'Brien

AT THIS stage we all accept that it is the nearest Ireland will get to the World Cup draw.

Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron (34) yesterday pulled an 'Ireland' ball out of the bowl during a rehearsal for the much-anticipated draw, which will take place in Cape Town tomorrow. Ms Theron, whose long-term partner is Irish actor Stuart Townsend, pulled out the 'Ireland' ball instead of a 'France' ball. But, unlike much of the rest of the world, Ms Theron was not laughing at us.

Instead, she was having a laugh at FIFA's expense after Ireland's failed bid to become the 33rd team at the event.

"Yes, she did, but it was only a joke," FIFA general secretary Jerome Valcke said.

Ms Theron will co-host the draw with Mr Valcke tomorrow.

The much-criticised FIFA President Sepp Blatter also revealed that the FAI had withdrawn its bid to be included as a 33rd country. And he apologised for his comments earlier this week suggesting it had not been considered seriously.

"I would like to express my regrets to a wrong interpretation of what I said and to the FAI I'm sorry about the headlines going around the world. I have nothing against the Irish, they were very sporting when they came to FIFA."

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