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Sports

Irish PM backs football association's demand for replay of France-Ireland match

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-11-19

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen backed calls by the Football Association of Ireland for football's governing body FIFA to order a replay of Wednesday's controversial World Cup qualifier between France and Ireland.

REUTERS - Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Thursday called on FIFA to order a World Cup qualifying re-match with France, saying he would raise the issue with President Nicolas Sarkozy at a Brussels summit.

  
Video replays showed striker Thierry Henry used his hand in the build-up to a William Gallas goal that sent France to next summer's World Cup finals in South Africa, and asked if he backed the Football Association of Ireland's call for a re-match, Cowen said: "Yes, I do.
  
"Our minister of sport will write to FIFA in support of that complaint and look for a re-match," he said on arrival at a summit of European Union leaders in Brussels.
  
Cowen said that he and Sarkozy "will probably have a chat about it away from the table," but added that he wanted football's authorities to resolve the row "making sure that fair play is upheld here."
  
"I am not going to raise it to that high diplomatic status -- I just want to see it dealt with on the basis of the regulatory bodies of football."
  
Cowen said that "fair play is a fundamental part of the game and I think that the official complaint (the FAI) lodged will be suported by us."
  
However, he also paid tribute to the French footballing public's outpouring of sympathy -- turning on their own team.
  
He said they had been "making it clear in great numbers that there is a lot of disquiet about the manner of the goal."

 

Date created : 2009-11-19

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