FIFA: No France v Irish replay

2009-11-20 14:37

London - FIFA have turned down a request from the Irish football authorities to stage a replay of their controversial World Cup playoff defeat to France, according to a report on Friday.

France qualified for the 2010 World Cup by winning the two-leg tie 2-1 on aggregate on Wednesday, although there has been outrage and claims of cheating after a Thierry Henry handball led to France's decisive equaliser.

The Irish Football Association (FAI) lodged a request with FIFA to have the match replayed however in a BBC report Friday world football's ruling body said such a move would be against FIFA rules.

"There is no way the game can be replayed," said a FIFA source.

"To do so would cause absolute chaos for football. FIFA's rules are absolutely clear."

"Law 5 states that a referee's decision on points of fact is final. That is the end of it. You cannot replay the match on this basis."

Henry admitted he handled the ball just before crossing for William Gallas who headed home the equaliser that broke Irish hearts at the Stade de France.

However the French football authorities maintain that the referee, Swede Martin Hansson, and not Henry is to blame.

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