Fifa rule out Ireland replay
Irish left to rue decision as France assured of World Cup place
Last Updated: 20/11/09 1:30pm
Henry: Clear handball
Fifa has confirmed that under no circumstances will Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off with France be replayed.
"Decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."
Fifa. Quotes of the week
Wednesday's second-leg clash in Paris has been the subject of intense scrutiny as France progressed courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate success, secured in extra-time largely thanks to Thierry Henry's now infamous double handball prior to William Gallas' leveller on the night.
The Football Association of Ireland had asked Fifa to replay the game as even Henry conceded he had handled the ball before laying on Gallas' equaliser, which booked France's place in South Africa.
Ireland received widespread sympathy throughout the football fraternity following a gutsy display in the French capital, with a number of key figures championing their cause for a replay.
However, such a request has been given short shrift by world football's governing body Fifa, who insist a referee's decision is final in rejecting the FAI's appeal.
"Fifa has today, 20 November 2009, replied to the request made by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to replay the 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa play-off match held on 18 November 2009 between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris," read an official statement from Fifa.
"In the reply, Fifa states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed.
"As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."
Fifa's response will now be considered by the FAI's board of management, which sits for a pre-arranged meeting on Friday afternoon.
The FAI said in a statement: "Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that it has received correspondence from FIFA rejecting the Association's request for a replay of the World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland.
"A previously scheduled meeting of the FAI board of management will take place this afternoon where the matter will be considered.
"No further comment will be made until this meeting has concluded."