Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

FOCUS

Can Chancellor Merkel's winning streak last?

Read more

FOCUS

Hunger in a fertile land...

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria: One Hundred Days and Counting

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

'Why Are So Many Children Dying in Gaza?'

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Seleka calls for partition

Read more

ENCORE!

High-tech acting king Andy Serkis on Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands march for Gaza peace in Paris

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • France charges Swiss bank UBS with tax fraud

    Read more

  • Israel faces heightened diplomatic pressure as Gaza violence rages

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

  • Netherlands holds day of mourning for victims of flight MH17

    Read more

  • Two Ukrainian fighter jets shot down over rebel-held territory

    Read more

  • Ryanair ordered to pay back €9.6m in illegal state aid to France

    Read more

  • Gaza protests: ‘France imported the Mideast conflict a long time ago’

    Read more

  • Video: Fear, death and mourning in Gaza’s Khan Younis

    Read more

  • TransAsia Airways Taiwan crash leaves dozens dead

    Read more

  • Poland’s Rafal Majka wins 17th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

Sport

FIFA rejects Ireland's call for France rematch

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-11-20

French footballer Thierry Henry said that he supported a rematch against Ireland, but hours after FIFA officially ruled out the possibility of a replay of the controversial World Cup playoff game.

 

 

The football world’s ruling body FIFA officially turned down Friday a request from the Irish football authorities to stage a replay of their controversial November 18 World Cup playoff defeat against France. The match resulted in France qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, and Ireland not going to South Africa.

The controversy arose after a blatant handball from forward Thierry Henry led to France's decisive equaliser.

Henry himself surprised the sporting world Friday by saying in a media statement that "the fairest solution would be to replay the game", increasing pressure on the French football federation to call for a rematch.

The line taken by FIFA, as it said in a press statement, is: "As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."


Hervé Armoric, a Dublin-based journalist, told France 24 that though the Irish were not surprised by FIFA’s decision, they were hoping France would rise to the occasion and gallantly offer a rematch. “The Irish were hoping the French would feel so guilty they would play the match again, that Thierry Henry would want so badly for France and Europe to remember him as a hero and not a cheat that he would use all his influence to convince the decision makers to allow a replay.”

Amoric added that the Henry incident was regarded in Ireland as such an outrage that Irish bookmakers, out of “patriotic duty,” were “reimbursing those who bet on Ireland to win.”

The outcome of the match has become an international incident, with both countries heads of state getting involved, often against the counsel of their advisors. Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Thursday raised the issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a Brussels summit, where football was in no way on the agenda. Sarkozy apologised to Cowen, but would not agree to a rematch.

The Internet is abuzz with anti-Thierry sentiment, including three Facebook sites dedicated to calling a boycott against Gillette, simply because they sponsor the French team.

A group called We Irish Hate Thierry Henry (the cheat) already has over 80,000 "fans". One anti-Thierrist created a video game in the “Pong” model, in which the player can take the role of Henry’s hand and swat a football into a goal.

 

Date created : 2009-11-20

  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

    Sarkozy apologises to Ireland, but does not back Cowen's replay call

    Read more

  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

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

    Read more

  • 2010 FIFA WORLD CUP

    Henry's handball sparks media storm against 'Les Bleus'

    Read more

COMMENT(S)