FAI Chief John Delaney Demands Ireland's Match With France Be Replayed

Chief executive reveals protest to game's governing body.

John Delaney has revealed today that the Football Association of Ireland will complain to FIFA after the Republic of Ireland were denied a place at next summer's World Cup following a handball from Thierry Henry in last night's play-off against France.

"The FAI today confirmed that it would like to complain to FIFA following last night's World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris," the FAI chief executive told reporters at a press conference in Dublin today.

"Conclusive video evidence of a clear handball by Thierry Henry which led to France's additional time goal has been seen by millions of football fans worldwide.

"The blatantly incorrect decision by the referee to award a goal has damaged the integrity of the sport.

"We now call on FIFA as the world governing body for our sport to organize for this match to be replayed.

"The handball was recognized by the FIFA commissioner, the referee observer and the match officials, as well as by the player himself."

And Delaney pointed to previous incidents to provide precedent for his demands.

"There is precedent for the invalidation of such results," he asserted.

"In 2005 the Bureau of the FIFA World Cup Organizing Committee reached a decision to invalidate the result of a World Cup qualifying game between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a technical error by the referee at the match.

"The FAI is hoping FIFA and its disciplinary committee will, on behalf of football fans worldwide, act in a similar fashion so that standards of fair play and integrity can be respected.

"We've also written to the French FA today as well to ask them to accede to a replay given the world nature of what happened last night.

"We've got to do what we've got to do. We owe it to the players who were magnificent last night, the management team, the supporters, who were incredible - it was one of the most incredible evenings you'll ever watch from an Irish point of view - and it's up to the people who govern the game for me now.

"Every time I go to a FIFA congress I hear about 'fair play' and 'integrity' and all those wonderful words.

"And this is not merely a league match. This was a defining game that the whole world were watching. If FIFA believe in fair play and integrity and all the things we're told, this is their opportunity to step forward."

Zack Wilson, Goal.com

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