'We got robbed': Irish demand replay with France

BY foxsports • November 19, 2009

Ireland appealed to both France and FIFA on Thursday to replay their World Cup playoff after an obvious handball by Thierry Henry set up the deciding goal.

Ireland's government and football association asked for Wednesday's 1-1 draw in the second leg at Stade de France to be replayed. France advanced to next year's World Cup in South Africa 2-1 on aggregate.

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"We can confirm that we have received Ireland's request for a replay match," FIFA said in a statement, though it was unclear if the governing body of world football would seriously consider the request.

Ireland coach Giovanni Trapattoni called the prospect of a rematch "impossible," and Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen said he would raise the issue with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at a meeting of the 27 EU leaders in Brussels.

"Fairness is part of the game," said Cowen, who added he would "have a chat about it (with Sarkozy)."

Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney said he doubted that FIFA would respond positively - unless the French football association voluntarily acceded to Ireland's call for a rematch.

"There is a team that should be in the World Cup today, and that's us," Delaney said, "It's up to them, in particular the French, to recognize there was a travesty last night, an injustice."

Henry twice handled the ball in extra time to prevent it from going out of play, then passed to William Gallas to head in the deciding goal. At the time of Henry's unpunished handball, the match was 17 minutes from reaching a penalty shootout.

"If that result remains, it reinforces the view that if you cheat you will win," said Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern, who also pointed out that two French players appeared to be offside from a free kick that preceded the goal.

"Millions of people worldwide saw it was a blatant double handball, not to mention a double offside," Ahern said. "We should put the powers that be in the cozy world of FIFA on the spot and demand a replay."

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