Irish Justice Minister calls for Ireland-France replay

Posted By: Staff

Dublin, Nov 20(ANI): Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern has called on FIFA to order a replay of the controversial World Cup play-off between Ireland and France.

Ahern's call came as Ireland is still raging at the double handball by France striker Thierry Henry, which enabled the latter to score the extra-time goal that won their play-off 2-1 on aggregate and sent them through to the finals in South Africa next summer.

"My view is there should be a replay. They (FIFA) probably won't grant it as we are minnows in world football, but let's put them on the spot," The Mirror quoted Ahern, as saying.

"It's the least we owe the thousands of devastated young fans around the country. Otherwise, if that result remains, it reinforces the view that if you cheat, you will win," he added.

Meanwhile, the Irish FA has said that it was considering an appeal to FIFA after Irish winger Damian Duff accused both FIFA and sports manufacturer Adidas of conspiring to get France through to the World Cup finals.

"Do I think it's a conspiracy? Definitely. FIFA want the big teams in the World Cup, they want France in the World Cup, and it may sound silly but they want teams sponsored by Adidas. Adidas sponsor the World Cup; they sponsor France. Michel Platini has a lot of influence as well," Duff said.

"FIFA have to take a long hard look at themselves now. The draw and then the decision the ref gave. Incredible. I don't know what's going on behind the scenes; it's just a joke. It's reminiscent of Maradona in 1986. We feel so cheated," he added. (ANI)

Story first published: Friday, November 20, 2009, 16:27 [IST]
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