World Cup play-off draw: Republic of Ireland to play France

17:07, 19 October 2009
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Ukraine will travel to...

The Republic of Ireland`s hopes of making the World Cup finals suffered a blow after they were drawn against France in the play-offs, according to

To make matter more difficult for Giovanni Trapattoni`s Irish side, France will also have the advantage of playing the second leg of the play-offs at home.

Irish fans were hoping to draw Greece but instead Ukraine will travel to Athens for the first leg. Portugal will play Bosnia-Herzegovina while Russia take on Slovenia

Trapattoni had criticised FIFA for seeding the play-offs - Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Slovenia were all unseeded meaning they could not play each other.

Kevin Kilbane said Ireland were full of confidence ahead of today`s draw for the World Cup qualification play-offs. He said: "We are confident of beating anyone over two legs."

Fifa have been strongly criticised over the decision to seed the play-offs, which has been perceived as a clear attempt to ease the qualification of `big` teams like France and Portugal.

Trapattoni described the seeding system as the "death of football", while Republic goalkeeper Shay Given branded them "disgusting" and "totally unfair on the smaller nations".

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