Thierry Henry’s handball, which set up France’s winning goal in their World Cup play-off encounter against the Republic of Ireland, will not be punished, according to a report in well respected French sportspaper L’Equipe.
The Paris-based publication suggests that no action will be taken by FIFA’s disciplinary committee after the handball, which set up William Gallas’ levelling strike in a 1-1 draw. Essentially this controversial effort pushed les Bleus through to South Africa at the Irish side’s expense courtesy of a 2-1 aggregate advantage.
At present, the report states, FIFA’s disciplinary code has no ability to punish such incidents. Rather, there are only rules governing the illegal use of a hand to prevent goals being scored. World football’s governing body therefore does not want to cause an outcry by punishing Henry when there is no law in place, as the action that would directly contravene their regulations.
Such news is likely to incense the Irish FA, who did much in the aftermath of the fixture to try and force a replay, even suggesting to FIFA that they go to South Africa as the competition’s 33rd team.
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