Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Photos: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest in Paris

    Read more

  • Limited Gaza truce extended until midnight

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Germany's Tony Martin wins 20th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

Sport

Controversial goal helps France book ticket to South Africa

Video by Stephen Clarke

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-19

A controversial goal by William Gallas in extra time gave the French side its ticket for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa as les Bleus drew with Ireland 1-1 in the second leg of the play-off in Paris on Wednesday.

REUTERS -  France captain Thierry Henry admitted he had handled the ball in the build-up to a controversial goal that sent France to the World Cup at the  expense of Ireland on Wednesday.

Henry appeared to handle the ball twice before feeding defender William Gallas, who bundled home from close range on 103 minutes to give France a 1-1 draw in the return leg of their playoff and a 2-1 aggregate win.

The forward first stopped the ball from going out with his arm, then controlled it with his hand in a crowded penalty area and crossed for Gallas to give France the edge in extra time after they had struggled for most the game.

"Yes, there is handball but I am not the referee," Henry told reporters. "I'm in the box, there are two defenders in front of me. The ball bounced off my hand, the referee did not see it and I played on.

"It doesn't change anything to the fact that I'm happy we have qualified.

Ireland were devastated after missing out on the World Cup because of what coach Giovanni Trapattoni called a "great mistake" by Swedish referee Martin Hansson.

"I told the referee that it is possible to make great mistakes," Trapattoni told a new conference after the game at Stade de France. "It is a bitter evening."

Trapattoni said he felt the referee should have talked to his assistants and to Henry before awarding the goal.

"I am sad because the referee had time to ask the linesman and I am sure he should have asked Henry as well," the Italian said.

"All the European people saw the game and what happened. France played a good game in Dublin but this time we played better and over the two games we deserved to go to South Africa," Trapattoni added.

"NOT VALID"

France defender Sebastien Squillaci said he realised the decisive goal was not valid but said such incidents just had to be accepted.

"It's part of the game, it played in our favour tonight, maybe some other time it will play against us.

"Of course Ireland will not he happy but we are happy the referee awarded the goal. We're competitors and we're there to win. The goal may not be valid but we'll take it."

France, who won the first leg 1-0 at Croke Park on Saturday, indeed looked nervous and clumsy until the closing stages while Ireland kept pushing and had the better chances but were denied by a string of great saves by France keeper Hugo Lloris.

France coach Raymond Domenech, whose job was on the line, said he had not seen the controversial goal properly.

"I didn't see the replay," he said. "From where I was, I couldn't see anything. All I know is the referee awarded the goal."

Domenech, under heavy criticism since France's Euro 2008 flop, praised Ireland for a spirited display.

"I would like to pay tribute to the Ireland team and to their fans," he said. "It is regrettable in a way that they did not qualify because they would have deserved to go to the World Cup"

Date created : 2009-11-19

  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

    Slovenia, Greece, Portugal and Uruguay earn places for South Africa

    Read more

COMMENT(S)