Thank you Charlize Theron — for saving Irish face, for standing up for Irish everywhere, and for embarrassing the bloated bureaucrats from FIFA who unfairly drove Ireland out of the soccer World Cup.

Charlize is the pin-up girl for the World Cup in South Africa in 2010. On Wednesday in Capetown, she pulled the first team out of the hat at the rehearsal for the actual World Cup draw.

Then she cheekily announced "Ireland."

Cue a stunned silence, red faces, and deep embarrassment for FIFA officials who stood idly by and allowed a cheating French team to make it to the World Cup finals at the expense of the Irish.

Shame on them and Charlize — you showed 'em.

Of course, her boyfriend is Irish actor Stuart Townsend, a big soccer fan, who no doubt was as aggrieved as the rest of the Irish world community when the French, through a blatantly illegal handball, made it to the World Cup finals.

But Charlize made them pay.

FIFA officials have been trying their damnedest to brush the entire "Affaire Irelande" under the carpet, to airbrush the 2010 World Cup and say that all is fair in love and soccer.

But it's not. They way they decided at the last moment to seed the playoffs, the blatant efforts to ensure the French would make South Africa were all too clear to Irish people everywhere.

And now Charlize has struck back.

She is not only beautiful, but clever and loyal, too.

She has ensured that we did not go gently into the night.

We love you, Charlize.