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FIFA refuses Irish request for replay

20 November 2009 10:55

LONDON (AFP) - Football's world ruling body FIFA on Friday officially turned down a request from the Irish football authorities to stage a replay of their controversial World Cup playoff defeat to France.

A statement on FIFA's website said: "FIFA has today, 20 November 2009, replied to the request made by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to replay the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa play-off match held on 18 November 2009 between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris.

"In the reply, FIFA states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed."

France qualified for the 2010 World Cup by winning the two-leg tie 2-1 on aggregate on Wednesday, although there has been outrage and claims of cheating after a blatant Thierry Henry handball led to France's decisive equaliser.

Henry admitted he handled the ball just before crossing for William Gallas who headed home the equaliser that broke Irish hearts at the Stade de France.

However the French football authorities maintain that the referee, Swede Martin Hansson, and not Henry is to blame.

FIFA's statement added: "As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."

Backed by Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen on Thursday, the Irish Football Association (FAI) had lodged the request with FIFA on Thursday.

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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

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Sunday 21 September

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