A place in the World Cup in Brazil? Eh…..No thanks

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Ireland can only dream of playing in the World Cup in Brazil next summer after failing in the current qualifying campaign.

Defeats to Germany, Sweden and Austria in the last 2 months saw their chances disappear.

The major disappointment of these results was in contrast to the last time the World Cup was held in Brazil when Ireland chose not to go to the tournament.

Ireland were drawn in Group 5 of the European qualifying system for the 1950 World Cup together with Sweden and Finland.

Like the current campaign when the Swedes were also in the Irish group, they had the better of the boys in green.

In the opening game in Stockholm Ireland took the lead through a goal from Davy Walsh of West Brom but a penalty and another goal before half time had the Swedes in front at the break 2-1.

A third in the 69th minute for the home team settled matters and Irelands opening game ended in defeat.

The next game at home to Finland was the first international played on a Thursday in Dublin. Two goals from Con Martin helped Ireland beat Finland 3-0 and earn the country its first ever World Cup win.

However, that would be the highlight of the campaign as the Fins held Ireland to a draw in the return game in Helsinki and the Swedes would travel to Dublin and in similar fashion to 2013 come away with a victory, this time 3-1.

Ireland would finish behind Sweden in the group and as a result fail to qualify for the World Cup or so it seemed.

However, France who had qualified learned that their first two fixtures in Brazil were to be played in locations 3000km apart. When their request to reschedule these matches was refused, they immediately withdrew from the tournament.

This resulted in FIFA offering an invitation to the FAI to take part in the tournament in Brazil but citing a reason of not having enough time to prepare for it they declined the invitation.

As a result, Ireland missed the chance to play in a World Cup finals in Brazil.

………unless another invitation is offered….Mr Blatter???

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