Fifa rule out Ireland replay

Irish left to rue decision as France assured of World Cup place

Last updated: 20th November 2009   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Fifa rule out Ireland replay

Henry: Clear handball

Decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final.

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Fifa has confirmed that under no circumstances will Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off with France be replayed.

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."

Comments (33)

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Bradley Brooks says...

if it had been the other way round then Ireland wouldnt have been complaining would they?. Yes Henry got away with cheating but its just the same as anybody diving or fouling someone but the ref denying them of a penalty. At the end of the day Fifa are correct not to do anything, if they did look st how many games they would have to correct. shut up moaning and get on with it ireland you werent good enough.

Posted 15:14 20th November 2009

Michael Brooks (Leyton Orient fan) says...

Did Ireland really think that PLATINI (the French) will allow this to be replayed when his country is in the finals...that's crazy! But the FIFA is correct though the refferee's decision is final.

Posted 15:06 20th November 2009

Darren Mac (Tottenham Hotspur fan) says...

The real cheats are FIFA, they agreed to an open draw as the format prior to the group stages but then when it looked like France, Germany and Portugal would finish 2nd they then changed to seedings. If Ireland had 'cheated' then i can imagine FIFA would come out and say that due the high profile of the incident and the fact that many youngsters would copy their hero's that in this instance we are to replay the game but with France qualifying and being the so called cheats then there is no way this would happen unless France, like Arsenal did against Sheff UTD agree to a replay, so come on all you honest french people, err yeah dream on. Blaming the referee is short sighted, remember anelka dived (cheated) when Given came out at him, yet the referee gave what he saw which brings me on to the other issue ... THEY ALL CHEAT, watch when the ball goes into the peanlty area from a set peice with all the grappling and holding, watch when a player feigns an injury so the ball can be kicked out, watch when a player leaves a trailing leg etc etc Is Henry any better or worse than the rest? nooooooo he just got caught red handed (so to speak) and rightly deserves the stick he is going to get for it. FIFA will come out with the old tosh of 'we cannot replay as it sets a precedent etc etc' easy peasy. Well FIFA why not replay and say a line has been drawn in the sand and from this day on we have a further ref in the tv studio (look at rugby it HELPS!!!), football needs this or else football will be left behind.

Posted 15:06 20th November 2009

Darell Scales (Ipswich Town fan) says...

If it was France vs England and the same thing happened everyone would be wanting a replay! Without a doubt Ireland played very well against France the other day and deserve to be in the World cup finals. Would fifa say the same thing if it was England calling for a replay!? I think so.

Posted 14:51 20th November 2009

Robert Barrett (Liverpool fan) says...

I knew when they seeded the playoffs that ireland had a huge mountain to climb. The Referees were going to be under preesure to give decisions to the so called ''better teams''. Irelands performance the other night was brilliant and they deserve to be in the world cup.

Posted 14:43 20th November 2009

Dave Stirzaker (Liverpool fan) says...

By refusing the replay, FIFA is condoning the actions of Thierry Henry. The least they can do is suspend him from the World Cup.

Posted 14:17 20th November 2009

Andy Flynn (Leeds United fan) says...

Never really expected FIFA to grant a replay.. But I am glad that the F.A.I has stood up to FIFA. Too long has FIFA and UEFA preached equality and fair play with any real action. First the seedings change and now this awful decision, has highlighted the corrupt stench of hypocrisy that FIFA embody. As Irish football fans we will have to learn to accept that we will not be heading to South Africa. But we can draw solace from the fantastic show of support we have received from all across Europe and the world of football and in particular from Great Britain. And unlike many, I do blame Henry... Yes he admitted it but after the whistle had blown.. He is a cheat and I hope he is branded that for the remainder of his career.. If players like Paolo Di Canio and Robbie Folwer have in the past shown excellent sportsmanship, surely and ambassador of FIFA could have displayed similar. On a side not, I am delighted for Slovenia who knocked out Russia and I hope their qualification cost FIFA millions in revenue.

Posted 13:59 20th November 2009

Newton Ntn (Liverpool fan) says...

The game should not be replayed but the "hand ball" rule should be scraped coz if Henry/France can get away with it, then the rule is useless. Revise your rules FIFA. Of what importance is a rule that can not supersede a fault or referees' mistakes? Such things don't happen in Rugby, Cricket, Tennis. It's high time technology is introduced in football.

Posted 13:42 20th November 2009

Shaun Colrein (Hull City fan) says...

This decision stinks, fifa change the rules when it suits them. blatter and platini are not the people to run the worlds most profitable and popular sport.

Posted 11:56 20th November 2009

Chks Caleb (Arsenal fan) says...

What's all the fuse on the so called replay? Take it or leave it, Ireland lost out and France deserve to be in South Africa come 2010. Why are the British or should i say United kingdom into mouthy debate of non-existing issues? how can you call for a replay of such a match and you think fifa will listen to you. That is share arrogance and the believe that the world is under your feet. Days are gone when people from that part of the world are being adored. History has shown that you got to such light and level by cheating. The word cheating does not have direct translation to many languages including mine. You know how you got it and you are using it to the extreme. Try and accept defeat and see it as an act of God and face the future squarely. Enough of this scam protest on Eurosports and Skysports. Use your time and do something meaninfull and let's hear word. Thank God that England qualified, atleast you have a team to support. Pls let skysports engage in something better and stop drawing up the debate about replay which will never come to be. Thanks

Posted 11:56 20th November 2009

David Hutton (Leeds United fan) says...

I'd love to see a replay, but realistically FIFA cannot be blamed for denying it... Cheating happens all the time in the game - diving for fouls/penalties has been a big example of such behaviour ecently - however, the same position has always been taken. The OFFICIAL is responsible for reffing the game fairly - if he does not see it, then how can he call it? If FIFA overturned this, then every time a team loses and something dubious happens a team could call for a replay - absolute chaos would ensue. The following should, however, happen as a matter of course: - The Ref & Linesman should be removed from international and high priority refereeing lists as they have demonstrated an obvious lack of abiliity to do the job at that level. The foul was blatant, so therefore they have shown incompetence. - Henry should be banned for 2-3 competitive games, as was dished out by FIFA for the eduardo cheating incident before Arsenal appealed. The handball (twice!) is not something that can be appealed as accidental, and extreme unsportsmanlike conduct is supposed to get this penalty. I know this does not help Ireland out, but it is all that can be done under FIFA legislation. As for a replay, the only way that could happen is if the French offered it (a la Arsene Wenger vs Sheffield Utd with the Overmars goal) - thereby not undermining FIFA legislation and opening up the game to a whole world of trouble. So if complaints need to be directed, the best way would be to do so at the country that is responsible for the issue and has the power to allow a replay.

Posted 11:55 20th November 2009

Dave Hughes (Chelsea fan) says...

I watched the match and yes obviously it was a blatant handball, but replay the match...come on, it was never and should never happen, football is purely a game and the referees decision should be final, bitterness is a hard taste to swallow but move on please. As for video replays i detest the idea. Controversy is what makes the game so unique, without it what would we all be talking about this week, its what makes the game so exciting. I've no doubt this will drag and drag but from 1 supporter of footballs point of view, hard luck i'm looking forward to watching the world cup next year without replays

Posted 11:55 20th November 2009

Martyn Smith (Manchester United fan) says...

So FIFA have ruled that this game will not be replayed and say the Referee's decision in a match is final. I always thought FIFA had a higher ruling than a referee, If it is the case that referee's decisions are final how come FIFA have the power to overturn a Yellow Card bookings or Sending off 's in the match. I watched the end of the match the other night, and was absolutly disgusted that Henry managed to get away with handling the ball twice in full vision of the assistant not only that the assistant ref didn't even notice a couple of the frogs were offside when the freekick was taken. Even tho he managed to rule an offside offence about 5-10 mins earlier in the match, in the exact same position. FIFA have never liked England, Scotland and The ROI being in major competitions and the fact they aren't allowing this game to be replayed is proof. Absolutly Distgusting!!!

Posted 11:55 20th November 2009

Karl Howells (Manchester United fan) says...

It'll be interesting to see how many Irish fans turn up at Frances games at the World Cup, because let's face it the Irish aren't soft and they feel cheated (and rightfully so)... I can see alot of trouble in South Africa and it's all FIFA's fault because they had the opportunity to correct this but instead chose to turn a blind eye. I wonder if it's because Platini is French?

Posted 11:51 20th November 2009

Freddy Kruger (Liverpool fan) says...

Fifa are correct not too allow a replay because that would a. open a huge can of worms and b. allow france and the cheat to get away with it. What should really happen is France forfiet the game completely with extra punishment given to Henry. Its as simple as that and its reminiscent of the hand of god in 86 that has still not been forgotten. Iron out cheating and punish the whole team. Nobody likes cheats cos someone always gets hurt big time.

Posted 11:50 20th November 2009

Michael Mcnulty (Leicester City fan) says...

This whole situation is a joke. just like other people have said, if it was france who got knocked out by the same circumstances then there is no question about it, it would be a replay.fifa say its law and its final what ever the ref's decistion is! well thats not true. what happens if a player is booked or sent off and club or country appeel because it shouldn't of been a card? doesn;t get revoked or is that just me thinking that??? final words. FIFA ARE BIASED!!!

Posted 11:44 20th November 2009

Cian Nolan (Aston Villa fan) says...

FIFA are the governing body that organise Soccer. They could ammend the rules if they felt it was necessary. Most neutral soccer fans agree that we Irish have been robbed of an opportunity of a place in the world cup. Great and heroic players like Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff just to name 3 have been cheated out of an opportunity to compete in the greatest single sport event on earth. Clearly, FIFA, Blatter, Platini and Henry believe in the marketing value of the Fair Play campaign. They just don't believe in ensuring it is used. A dark day for Soccer and a sport I won't watch again. Anyone who says get on with it or move on, it's very easy to say when it hasn't denied your country of a place in the world cup.

Posted 11:40 20th November 2009

Bryan Newell (Manchester United fan) says...

FIFA already "fixed" the draw by seeding the bigger nations, they're hardly going to give France another chance of buggering up another chance to qualify, having already got what they wanted, are they? All that you need to ask is "What if it was Robbie Keane had done it?" - I think we all know the answer to that one!

Posted 11:40 20th November 2009

Daniel Harvey (Arsenal fan) says...

This is a disgrace. You cannot blame the referee or the linesman. There were so many bodies in the way and it happened so quickly. Blatter and Platini are a joke. For all the revenue they take from people week in week out and they wont set up video technology is worse than disgraceful.

Posted 11:39 20th November 2009

Jay F (Manchester City fan) says...

As an Englishman i have no time for the French. That said alot of Irish feel the same about us but i'm still gutted for them. Is fair play not supposed to be the corner stone of the game? Fifa are a complete joke and i hope France go one better than the last world cup and get no points! Henry has gone down in my estimation and i hope he never returns to the premier league...Cheat. Platini & Blatter are distroying everything about the game. Who votes these idiots in? What criteria do they have to meet to be given such a powerful position? Why was Blatter not sacked when he suggested Women should wear tighter shorts to improve their viewer numbers? Platini is so pro-France its embarrassing. Get these corrupt idiot's out!!!

Posted 11:37 20th November 2009

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