21 Nov 2009

FIFA refuse Irish request for replay

3:12 pm on 21 November 2009

Republic of Ireland football chiefs have renewed an appeal for FIFA to order a replay of the handball-marred World Cup play-off with France, after the French captain Thierry Henry said a re-match would be the "fairest solution."

Football's world ruling body FIFA has officially turned down a request from the Football Association of Ireland to stage a replay of the controversial loss, after France qualified for the 2010 World Cup by winning the two-leg tie 2-1 on aggregate thanks to a blatant Henry handball, which led to France's decisive equaliser.

Henry says he feels embarrassed and extremely sorry for the Irish who definitely deserve to be in South Africa.

The French Football Federation is making "no further comment" other than noting the decision, while their Irish counterpart is due to meet today to consider the decision.