Shay Given has once again condemned FIFA's decision to seed the World Cup play-offs after the Republic of Ireland were handed a daunting clash with 1998 winners France.
The Republic will play Raymond Domenech's side at Croke Park on Saturday, November 14 with the return leg in Paris the following Wednesday.
That is just the kind of scenario Ireland feared when it emerged a week before their ultimately decisive Group Eight showdown with Italy the draw would be seeded after all.
Now the Manchester City keeper and his team-mates must get past Thierry Henry, Franck Ribery and company if they are to reach next summer's finals in South Africa.
The 33-year-old launched a bitter attack on the governing body a fortnight ago, and remains angry at the decision.
He said: "The seeding thing is totally unfair. As one of the smaller countries, it is hard enough to qualify at the best of times.
"To change the rules a couple of weeks before the end of the campaign is ridiculous. But that is what they have done. I do think it is very unfair.
"But we went to Bari and got a result. We also went to Bulgaria. There is great belief that we can go to these big nations and get results.
"We should have beaten Italy last week. They scored with the last kick of the game. We have to learn from that.
"We have enough experience to see the game out but we didn't do it. We do get great belief and confidence from matches like that.
"The seeding thing has spurred us a bit more. You think the whole world is against you.
"If they had made the rules from day one, you would have got your head round it. Just to change it a couple of weeks ago was farcical, as far as the smaller countries are concerned.
"But that is what they have done and we have to get on with it.
"We want to be in South Africa. Every player wants to play in the World Cup finals against the best players in the world.
"It is a special World Cup when the Irish supporters are there. Hopefully we can get there."
Ireland secured their passage to the play-offs by finishing second in their group behind reigning champions Italy and ahead of Bulgaria.
They drew home and away with the Italians and the Bulgarians, as well as Montenegro, and took the maximum six points from both Cyprus and Georgia to complete their 10-game campaign unbeaten.
They were within minutes of a famous victory over the current holders in Dublin last Saturday evening, courtesy of St Ledger's 87th-minute header, when substitute Alberto Gilardino rescued a point for the visitors and in the process, secured their automatic qualification.
Former manager Gerard Houllier believes France have a "50-50 chance" of qualifying for South Africa following the draw.
France are ninth on FIFA's world rankings but could only finish second behind Serbia in their qualifying group.
"Ireland are one of the toughest opponents for Les Bleus," said Houllier, who was in Zurich for the draw as a representative of France Football Federation president Jean-Pierre Escalettes.
"Beforehand I had a hunch that France would draw Ireland and I was right. They will be difficult.
"Nobody wanted to draw Ireland because they know they've finished their qualification group unbeaten.
"With Trapattoni (at the helm) we won't win by scoring lots of goals but we also don't lose a lot. It will be a great battle over 180 minutes."
Asked if he thought France were favourites, Houllier added in L'Equipe: "I want to say yes but over two legs everything is possible. For me it will be a 50-50 chance.
"It is a good thing though that the second match is at home.
"I am sure the atmosphere at the second leg will be special and enthusiastic."
Former Republic defender David O'Leary agreed with Houllier that the Republic, who have not beaten France since 1981, could upset their more fancied rivals.
"They've all seen the Italian match. I think the way Trapattoni has got this team and the players in it thinking, they won't fear anybody," O'Leary said on Sky Sports News.
"They respected Italy, they knew they were going to go out and play against wonderful players, but they weren't in awe of them.
"They knew if they were all organised, stayed together and did their jobs, they could be very difficult to beat, and they proved that."
The teams last met in qualifying for the 2006 World Cup when they played out a goalless draw in Paris before a Thierry Henry goal separated the teams at Lansdowne Road.
O'Leary does not believe the current France line-up are as strong as that team but concedes Les Bleus will still be favourites.
"I think there's always mumblings of everything in the French squad, because they've got so many star players and individuals," he added.
"They always seem to get the job done but they should've got out of the group they were in with the talent they've got. But now they've come through and salvaged second place and have got the chance to go to the World Cup.
"FIFA want them there because of those star players, but I hope Ireland can produce a shock and they'll be there instead."Reuse content