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The coach looked forward, not back...

On Thursday afternoon, Giovanni Trapattoni gave his first full-length press conference since Ireland's controversial defeat to France on Wednesday night.

A sober, disappointed figure, it was a far cry from the days of ranting and raving in front of stunned Bavarians. Indeed, this was a Trapattoni with an eye not on undoing past grievances but instead on looking ahead - a remarkable reaction, given that one of the World Cup's greatest recent injustices took place just one restless night prior.

On Thierry Henry's decisive handball, the veteran Italian explicitly stated that the structure of the sport, as opposed to the man himself, was to blame.

"It wasn’t up to Henry to say, 'Look, I touched it with my hand’. It’s not Henry’s task to say it," he said.

"The situation has lost credibility. It’s possible for a referee to make a mistake, its possible coach, players to make a mistake.

"If it was us? We would be as criticised as France. But when you have a great responsibility, we have to get rid of these situations. That is sport, that is fair play. We often speak of fair play, but now we cannot say to kids in school that football is disciplined."

'Trap' also brushed aside calls for the match to be replayed, instead calling for a look ahead.

"When a referee makes a mistake, that’s the end of the game for me. I know its impossible to repeat the game. This type of situation have to give a chance for people who are in charge to think or rethink, because this situation could be repeated in the future," he said.

"As for TV replays, I am sure in future that this will occur. There are too many interests today. For me, it would be good to have a 30 second stop, as it's better to clarify a situation. I am sure in the future they will have to do something about it."

"This for me is bitter because there are many questions. The criteria: three monts ago they changed critieria on seeded teams and who played at home in the second leg.

"There are many doubts that have to be eliminated. That is what I think. I think I’m entitled to ask these questions. Out of the non-seeded teams, we were the only non-seed team to play at home then away. We could have lost to Russia or Portgual, thats not the point.

"I will go to FIFA and I will advise them what I think. Play football for 90 minutes and then go straight to penalites – why not?

"There are many people interested today – tv, journalists, companies – its better today that we change the years."

Steve Michaels, Goal.com

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