Fifa has ruled out any prospect of France and the Republic of Ireland replaying their World Cup play-off match, despite the Irish justice minister, Dermot Ahern, this morning joining the Republic of Ireland assistant manager, Liam Brady, in calling for a rematch.
When contacted by the Guardian, a Fifa spokesman flatly denied the chance of a rematch, refering to Law 5 in the official rules of the game, which states that the referee has "full authority to enforce the Laws of the Game in connection with the match to which he has been appointed", and that "the decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play are final".
In case there was any question whether this leaves room for doubt, the International FA Board notes that: "Facts connected with play shall include whether a goal is scored or not and the result of the match." The fourth assistant at the match, Martin Ingvarsson refused to be drawn today when questioned about the incident. "We are not allowed to make any comments at all in connection to Fifa games," he said.
Ahern added: "Millions of people worldwide saw it was a blatant double handball - not to mention a double offside. We should put the powers that be in the cosy world of Fifa on the spot and demand a replay."
But why would Fifa grant a replay of the match? They already got what they wanted, a France victory (hey-o).
Henry spoke on the matter Thursday, and confirmed what we all already knew: it was indeed a handball.
"Yes, there is a handball but I am not the referee," Henry admitted."I didn't deliberately do it , but it was handball. I'm in the box, there are two defenders in front of me. The ball bounced off my hand, the referee did not see it and I played on. It doesn't change anything to the fact that I'm happy we have qualified."
At least he's not trying to pretend it didn't happen. And hey, look, he even apologized.
im not the referee... but if i hurt some one im sorry
There, all better?