Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ireland wants a replay with France!

The Football Association of Ireland has lodged an official complaint with FIFA asking for their World Cup play-off second leg match with France to be replayed.

However, Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni has acknowledged there is little chance that his side's clash with Les Bleus , which was marred and ultimately decided by a Thierry Henry handball, will be replayed.

The veteran Italian coach watched in horror as Henry paddled a Florent Malouda free-kick as it run towards the byline with his left hand before setting up William Gallas' equaliser in extra-time, which was amazingly allowed to stand.

Barcelona striker Henry's official line on the incident is that he did handle the ball, but not deliberately, preferring that before he knew it, Malouda's free-kick had struck his outstretched arm, and the rest is history.

Trapattoni bemoaned the fact that a replay was not a possibility, but demanded an explanation for FIFA's choice of officials, and suggested that in future, such second-leg ties should go straight to penalties if level after 90 minutes.

We know it will be impossible for the game against France to be replayed," he told SkySports.

"I would only like to say I would like Fifa to explain how they selected the referee for this important game. For this important game we needed a stronger referee - an important referee.

I would give the advice to Fifa - maybe in the future change the rules about the play-off. Play two games and at the end of 90 minutes - no extra-time."

Meanwhile, Ireland centurion Kevin Kilbane, defender Sean St Ledger and assistant boss Liam Brady have all called for the match to be replayed, with Arsenal legend Brady affirming that it was only fair, in line with 'the dignity and integrity of football'.

"Well, I'd like to think it would be replayed and I think everyone in the squad would like it replayed," said Hull City left-back Kilbane.

Brady, meanwhile was more Churchillian in his view: "For the dignity and integrity of football, we will go to France and play again."

Sepp Blatter goes on about fair play - let him reflect on what happened last night.

Where is football going if a team is cheated out of fair play? Where are we going if this decision stands?"

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