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'Handball' ref buckled under pressure: Ireland's Brady

19 November 2009 12:35

LONDON (AFP) - The referee who mistakenly allowed the goal that sent France to the World Cup succumbed to pressure created by FIFA, Ireland's assistant manager Liam Brady claimed on Thursday.

As the recriminations over Thierry Henry's handball in the build up to the crucial goal intensified, Brady said world football's governing body had made clear its desire for France to reach the finals by belatedly deciding to seed the draw for the play-offs.

That ensured that France could not be drawn against either Russia or Portugal and, according to Brady, created an atmosphere that ultimately influenced Swedish referee Martin Hansson's handling of Wednesday's play-off second leg in Paris.

Speaking to BBC Radio, Brady said: "I wouldn't blame Thierry Henry for what went on. I would maybe look at what happened three months before and the fact that these seedings for the play-offs were made to favour the bigger teams. I would ask why that went on.

"The pressure on referees is enormous then. The pressure is too much to bear and I thought the referee up until then had refereed the match in fine fashion, but he succumbed under pressure."

Brady added: "I asked Thierry Henry after the game and he said 'I handled it but I didn't mean it.' When you look at the film I think he kept the ball in play and he meant it. I wouldn't go down the road of (calling it) cheating, the players seek every advantage they can.

"But I would ask FIFA, 'Do we want to play the match again?' We would go to Paris and play again. I don't think it would come to that but we would be willing to go to Paris, on their home ground, and have a fair winner."

Henry admitted after the match that the ball had struck his hand before he crossed for William Gallas to head home an extra-time goal which levelled the score at 1-1 on the night and sent France to South Africa 2-1 on aggregate.

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Info

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
18 November 2009
Kick-off
21:00
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
0 - 1
Extra-time
1 - 1
On aggregate
2 - 1
Venue
Stade de France (Paris)
Attendance
79145

Goals

0 - 1
W. Gallas 103'  
1 - 1

Lineups

Substitutes

Wednesday 17 September

Tuesday 16 September

23:50
23:46
23:42
23:23
23:06
23:05
22:57
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22:36
22:05
21:07
21:04
20:56
20:48
20:28
19:50
19:46
19:38
19:27
19:09
19:09
18:40
17:51
17:33
17:28
16:58
16:40
16:39
16:20
15:58
14:42
14:33
14:27
14:26
13:57
12:49
12:22
10:21
10:13
09:44
09:32
06:58
06:43
06:03
05:59
05:37
05:20
04:08
03:37
03:17
03:11
02:53
01:21
01:16
00:36
00:32

Monday 15 September

23:54
23:22
23:10
22:54
22:42
22:03
21:59
21:23
21:05
20:50
20:33
20:05
19:32
18:59
18:54
18:22
18:05
17:55
17:55
17:11
17:05
16:51
16:29
16:25
15:49
15:23
14:53
14:44
14:33
14:30
14:10
14:01
13:47
13:12
13:06
12:41
12:34
12:20
11:25
11:15
10:51
10:17
10:17
09:58
09:51
09:39
09:38
09:04
07:07
07:03
05:59
05:01
04:45
04:03
03:08
03:03
02:54
01:31
01:06
00:21

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