Swedish referee Martin Hansson revealed yesterday that he broke down in tears after his mistake ended Ireland's World Cup dream.

But he slammed suggestions he was part of a FIFA conspiracy to ensure that France qualified for the World Cup at Ireland's expense.

The Swede failed to spot Thierry Henry's shocking double handball during the build-up to William Gallas' decisive goal in last November's play-off second leg in Paris.

Hansson, 39, admits that France are lucky to be in South Africa - but now he claims that he simply made an honest error.

Hansson said: 'After the game, we were sitting in the dressing room and I cried when I realised what a mistake it was. For me, it was a goal. Afterwards I realised it was a bad situation.'

But Hansson is furious at claims he helped to deliver the result that soccer bosses wanted. He added: 'I don't even listen to that because it's so far away from reality.'

Politics make for strange bedfellows. But Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly's obsession with Lady Gaga may be the unlikeliest paring of the summer.

O'Reilly is desperate to have the international megastar appear on his show, even though it's unlikely to ever happen.

On his show tonight O'Reilly pleaded to Gaga to take up his invitation, adding that whiskey drinking was allowed, and by way of a carrot he called Miley Cyrus a 'Gaga wannabe.'

Sounds like he has one of his patented ambush journalism specials planned for the Lady. Gaga's certainly unpredictable but we won't hold our breath.

It will be hard for the Irish to forget Thierry Henry's handball.