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Thursday, 19 November 2009

Would a replay of Ireland v France be fair?


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It's hard to watch the replay (after replay) of Thierry Henry's deliberate handball ahead of his cross for the decisive extra time goal for France without wondering about fairness. The circumstances of the fixture were somewhat unfair to start with. Fifa and Uefa somehow contrived to decide that Portugal and France were too important to be missing from South Africa so fudged the issue of the nature of the play-offs to give them the best chance they could in the circumstances. Perhaps thinking that if they gave them a one-off home game, with a domestic referee and a two goal start it might look a little bit too suspicious.

But in extra-time and with a penalty shoot-out looming Henry was allowed to keep the ball from running out for a corner by pulling the ball down from chest height with his left hand allowing him a simple short pass onto William Gallas's head. How can none of the officials have either spotted it or even considered that gravity doesn't exactly work like that without a helping hand.

(new video of incident - they are getting pulled down all the time)

The late decision to introduce a seeding system was unfair, the decision to allow the decisive French goal was unfair and the least the authorities can do to even all this up is to allow a one-off replay in a neutral country - winner takes all.

Fifa order a replay of World Cup 2006 play-off game between Uzbekistan and Bahrain, after 'technical error' by referee.

It won't happen though, as I'm sure there will be a reason why this will be unfair on the French.

* Do you think that a replay is a good idea - or even slightly likely? Let us know.

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Antony Melvin

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