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Full match report

FAI explain reasons for appeal

20 Nov 2009 - 07:30:27

The Football Association of Ireland claim they owe it to their fans and the wider public to lobby FIFA for a replay following their controversial World Cup qualifying play-off defeat to France.

Thierry Henry's handball in the build-up to William Gallas' extra-time equaliser which sent France through to next summer's finals via a 2-1 aggregate scoreline has angered the Irish.

Referee Martin Hansson failed to spot what the France skipper later admitted and the FAI have asked FIFA to consider replaying the controversial game in Paris.

Reports claim Ireland are unlikely to be granted their wish as the world governing body would only considering intervening if there was a technical mistake made by the referee rather than a judgement call.

"We have got to do what we have to do," explained chief executive John Delaney.

"We owe it to the players, who were magnificent. The supporters were incredible.

"It is up to the people who govern the game now. Every time I go to a FIFA congress, I hear about fair play and integrity.

"This was not a league game. This was a defining game with the whole world watching and if FIFA believe in fair play and integrity, this is their opportunity to step forward.

"From the French FA point of view, they need to look at themselves in this situation.

"Henry is their captain and a wonderful footballer, but does he want to be like Diego Maradona and his legacy to be this handball, this goal that got them to the World Cup in an unjust manner?"


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