November 19th, 2009
09:52 AM ET

When will FIFA see what's staring us in the face?

An unpleasant whiff of injustice is polluting the air for football followers across the globe. France are through to the World Cup, but only after a blatant handball from Thierry Henry.

Henry: I will be honest. It was a handball.  AFP/Getty Images
Henry: I will be honest. It was a handball. AFP/Getty Images

Although they are celebrating qualification, Les Bleus look distinctly red-faced.

If you haven’t seen the controversial goal in question it shouldn’t take you long to find. Thousands have watched it online – many leaving outraged comments, believing that Henry handled the ball to stop it going out of play.

Without that illegal act there was no way he would have been able to set up William Gallas’s winning goal. And there is no debate over his guilt, because the Barcelona star has admitted as much.

“I will be honest. It was a handball,” he confessed afterwards. However, he insists it was up to the referee to spot the incident not for him to own up.

I agree it would have been an astonishing act of sportsmanship if Henry had rushed up to the match official to tell him the truth. There was so much at stake. A World Cup without France, the champions as recently as 1998, would have been unthinkable. And if the goal was ruled out because Henry intervened he would have been vilified in his home country.

Instead, he has become a villain for football fans everywhere else. There is a real danger that Henry’s reputation will be dented. The former Arsenal man is a skilful, speedy striker, graceful and so clean-cut that razor company Gillette use him to promote their brand globally, alongside stars like Roger Federer and Tiger Woods.

However, before we rush to sign the sporting obituary of this enchanting and genial performer we need to bear two things in mind.

First, Ireland’s manager Giovanni Trappatoni, given the chance to blame Henry, instead pointed the finger at the referee for missing the incident.

Second, even if the goal had been disallowed, the Republic would not necessarily have qualified for the World Cup finals. There were still 17 minutes of extra time to be played and then the tie would have gone to a penalty shoot-out, with no guarantee that Ireland would have come out on top.

Ultimately, Le Hand of God will again call into question FIFA’s refusal to use television replays to assist the referee during a game.

Within seconds of France’s "goal," replays showed the truth to viewers around the world. When will football’s governing body see what is staring the rest of us in the face?

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Filed under:  Football
soundoff (779 Responses)
  1. Basar

    This was a disgrace to football. FIFA is a disgrace to football. Unbelievable. I am neither Irish nor French but incidents like this really spoil football to a degree no fan can accept. We need to get rid of FIFA and all of it's board members and agree on a fresh start.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:08 am | Reply
  2. erwan

    France does not merit her victory...c'est lamentable...

    November 19, 2009 at 10:12 am | Reply
  3. Stephen Browne

    Ireland were cheated out of it.Fifa probably won't listen to us because they are corrupt and wanted France to go through,hence why they could do worse than us in qualifying yet still be seeded higher than us. We've been cheated,football needs to bring in the video referee system for big decisions like this one or else grant us a replay of the last 20 minutes.But, unfortunately, money comes before fairness in the world of international football. http://www.fifa.com/worldcup/archive/germany2006/news/newsid=27212.html

    November 19, 2009 at 10:17 am | Reply
  4. John B

    Mr Blatter and Mr Platini should demand the match be replayed.
    It is the most blatant example of injustice in soccer that I have seen in my life!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:18 am | Reply
  5. pearl

    France cheated.. oooohhh la honte!!! I could not even celebrate our qualification for South Africa....I feel like I swallowed a rat!!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:19 am | Reply
  6. Unbelievable

    Henry is a cheat. He has made a fortune out of his clean cut honest image however he did not have the intergrity to own up to this shameful act.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:21 am | Reply
  7. Fabio

    It's Maradona's "Hand of God" at work yet again...

    November 19, 2009 at 10:24 am | Reply
  8. Bob Ducker

    Far too many games are won/lost due to the physical limitations of 3 men spotting an infraction (or not). Given the amount of money and prestige, as well as national importance, it is absurd that readily available technology is not used to clarify/support key decisions. TV replays are almost instant and all but the most obscured situations would benefit.
    Not using such tools leaves open the questions of politics and corruption around these games. For this match France already had the huge advantage of being at home for playing the extra time. Statistics show that referees inevitably give the 'benefit of the doubt' more often to the home side. The pressure on them is intense and with no support 'mistakes' are inevitable. Then of course there is the wish of FIFA for the larger clubs to go through. So, there is pressure from the crowd AND the organisers – what can one man do?
    Frankly though, this was a poor quality match and neither team has a chance of winning the World Cup on this form. Ireland has never achieved anything, but at least France has a chance of improving and ultimately may get beyond the first round – but I doubt it with these players. Disappointing game. Disappointing ending. Bad for the game and bad for (non-French) spectators. We need better players and better decisions if these games are to be worth watching at all.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:24 am | Reply
  9. George

    Ireland was robbed!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:29 am | Reply
  10. james

    henry is a cheat and should be banned from the world cup.we were easily the better team last night and then one awful decision from the referee cost us a chance of getting to the world cup and of course platini is french i wonder what he'll do............. .we have been robbed and this match should be replayed.it's always the big countries that get the rub of the green.oh yes alex,at least we would have had a chance to win if it wasn't for that blatant handball.FIFA TECHNOLOGY IS NEEDED

    November 19, 2009 at 10:34 am | Reply
  11. AAp NL

    This is not an incident. The credibility of soccer is at stake. The FIFA should act now with the 4th referee who can use a replay monitor and may overrule such a bad mistake.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:36 am | Reply
  12. Strychnine

    Ireland got clubbed over the head, blindfolded, robbed, and left for dead in a ditch by the side of the road. :( Poor Ireland. Go USA!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:37 am | Reply
  13. Adopted Irishman

    Bob, you are right on what you say in your first two paragraphs, but I don't understand the third.
    Firstly, how is the fact that Ireland has no real hope of doing much in the World Cup an argument in favour of French qualification? Secondly, do you really think it was a poor game?

    November 19, 2009 at 10:39 am | Reply
  14. jaber

    I am really upset about this event. I hope that FIFA would do correcting action. The reulst should be 3-0 because of this shameful handball.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:39 am | Reply
  15. Arne Jørgensen

    With FIFA not demanding replay, after this obvious scandal, we must consider FIFA with Blatter beeing nothing more than organised crime.
    The reputation of the international football organisation have sunk below that of the doped bicycleworld. Lack of respect and distrust in topfootball
    will in the end ruin itself. That – in the end – is also a kind of justice.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:43 am | Reply
  16. Ajisola Abiola

    there are so many reason not to use instant replays during games....
    I've had this conversation with a friend and he explained to me, football isn't about TV, its about the other half a billion people who play it in their backyards and in schools.
    setting standards like the use of instant replays to judge ongoing games will completely turn the game into ... I don't even know, but my point is, google videos of kids playing in parks and on streets and think, how would this benefit them???
    will FIFA supply cameras to every football match that goes on in the world?
    admittedly, it is "professional football" but if that was the standard, the would be no need for natural talent....
    we would do what we have done to the world and just digitalised everything, till the point we don't even need to physically play football... we'd just imagine it....
    I'm probably going to far, but I hope you'll be able to pick out atleast one good point from this my rant...
    I take Bob Ducker's view on this...

    November 19, 2009 at 10:44 am | Reply
  17. the yank

    It was the officals responsibility to catch the foul but Henry will pay for his unsportsmanship for the rest of his life.
    That may not be a comfort to the Irish now but at least they can look their friends and families in the eye.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:46 am | Reply
  18. Keith

    And now you know why I've stopped watching Soccer – How on earth can a handball be allowed if it is OBVIOUSLY easily visible using modern technology. The rule is clear – "You may not handle the ball". All the ref has to do is take a few seconds to ask for a replay. So, until then, I'm not interested – And I live across the road from the new World Cup soccer stadium in Cape Town.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:49 am | Reply
  19. Serge

    I am francophone. Je parle le francais. And I am a fervent supporter of Arsenal. But I am ashamed of the goal scored by Henry. I agree with Mr John Be that Mr Platter and Mr Platini must order the match to be re-played. Les francais doivent etre francs.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:49 am | Reply
  20. omar

    FIFA.....take off that banner which says fairplay. that is nonesense

    November 19, 2009 at 10:49 am | Reply
  21. Alex

    Well, the Republic was cheated. And England was cheated in 1986. And most likely West Germany was cheated in the 1966 semi. And in every single football game there are controversial calls, some more controversial than others, some correct and some mistaken, This is part of the joy of football. If we want put a computer at the referee's place, or a camera at the linesperson's place, it will be a different game. Perhaps better, perhaps worst, I don't know. But for sure different. And while I hate injustice, I will always admire Diego Maradona, for both his goals in the 1986 quarter-final against England. Let football live. It has done rather well in the past 150 years!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:50 am | Reply
  22. Medhat Fawzy

    The only decent option for FIFA is to order a replay of this match, if not they should put Henry on probation and not let him participate in the world cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:51 am | Reply
  23. Mo

    I agree that FIFA should consider video replay for "critical decisions"...

    However, i find calling Henri a cheat excessive... Name me one player who has never gotten away with a foul, and even worse, name me one player who ran to the referee to own up to one...

    In the end if ireland had been the team benefiting from this bad decision, the argument would be reversed today, and the Irish would be the ones saying "sorry, bad show, but we qualified"...

    So let's lay the blame at the foot of those who are at fault: FIFA

    November 19, 2009 at 10:54 am | Reply
  24. Melanie, Ireland

    I am German-American and have lived in France for 14 years, though currently in Ireland. I have to say I thoroughly disgusted by France right now. I find it interesting that many people say "If Ireland would have cheated, there would not be any crying" Are you kidding me now? If Ireland had cheated, France would be all over it. It is only fair for Ireland to claim a replay. But I get it : It's ok for France to cheat, but not for Ireland....

    November 19, 2009 at 10:55 am | Reply
  25. George

    The luck of the Irish switched team this day...

    November 19, 2009 at 10:56 am | Reply
  26. Christopher P. DeVeau

    What a disgrace!!! Henri should be banned, France should be banned unless there can be a rematch and last but not least, the referee should be banned. France used to be a great football nation – what has happened to them in the last few years? Shame sure isn't an issue in French football. La Petite Nation?

    November 19, 2009 at 10:58 am | Reply
  27. Randy Hearn

    While it is difficult to understand how the field officials could have missed both hand ball infractions (assuming they just weren't ignored) it is even more difficult to comprehend FIFA not using video replays to confirm such critical calls.

    Video replays are not so time consuming as to significantly delay the game (far less than the numerous fake injuries displayed by all footballers) so it wouldn't interfere dramatically with TV time and they would greatly reduce the 'appearance' of preferrential treatment being awarded to special teams.

    Maybe that is the reason for excluding video replay, maybe video would restrict FIFA from 'influencing' game results and putting their preferred teams into the cup finals?

    Shame on FIFA for controlling the game and not the sport.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:59 am | Reply
  28. Stephen

    This is a disgrace for football. Knowing that many of the football stars, like Henry, are idols for many children, this is a scandal! Its like saying "its ok to cheat as long as you do not get caught". Everybody knows it was not a valid goal. Fifa is a joke. The referee is to blame, its true. But the referee is a human being liable to mistakes and the more infringements there are (real or fake) the more the possibility to err. So I don't see the point why players like Henry who blatantly cheated go unpunished! But I don't expect anything to happen. Fifa is a joke.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:59 am | Reply
  29. Adebayo

    Its just one of many injustice and corruption at the helm of affair in FIFA, if not various quest for technology to be introduced would have seen green light. What a shame France! The future and integrity of the game is at stake here. Blatter/Platini DO SOMETHING!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:00 am | Reply
  30. Tony

    Your crying over a soccer game. People are dying all over the world and your concerned with whether or not some loser used his hands.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:00 am | Reply
  31. Olivier

    During the game I told my wife about Henry being one of the best players in the world. I was ashamed to say the least when she saw what a cheat he showed himself to be.

    Let's boycott companies that use him to promote their products.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:01 am | Reply
  32. Mark B

    One thing we can all do. Don't buy ANY Gillette, Renault (in Europe) or Reebok products. Let's see how Henry's sponsors respond to that!!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:02 am | Reply
  33. tinashe

    This is an outrage really! I am not a big fan of television replays in football to determine decisions coz the game is just not suited for that but eish this might sway me!

    If a player can be banned in retrospect for diving/dangerous play then Henry should as well! He did admit it!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:04 am | Reply
  34. Gavin Murphy

    fifa you have a lot to answer for! im not saying we would have won , but all ireland asked for was a FAIR game! Shame on fifa and Henry

    November 19, 2009 at 11:06 am | Reply
  35. Gilbert Ambani

    Hey although am a France fan, in this one Ireland was robbed!
    Similar to Kenya vs Nigeria where a clear offside helped qualify Nigeria into World Cup. Its time FIFA integrated technology support in referees decisions especially with replays available almost instantly. Justice need to prevail in soccer too.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:06 am | Reply
  36. Cameron27

    Stop saying that France cheated. Henry tried something and he succeeded, it is not of its error but that of the referees.

    Anyway, how much times France been subjected to injustice without nobody complaining whatever?

    And Ireland was not stolen. Without this goal of the hand, there was equality still and both teams would have gone to shooting to goal.

    Who knows what there would have afterwards been but over instant France did not steal win, because none of two does not win.

    Besides, how many Irish hands were hissed during dangerous actions? A lot. And also this penalty on Anelka which would have been able to be hissed.

    Sorry for bad english, I'm french.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:07 am | Reply
  37. Nigel

    In response to Bob: Were you watching the same match i was? It was an excellent match and Ireland were outstanding for the most part. Just because they have never "achieved anything" does not mean they should not be playing in the world cup and receiving the much needed funds that come with it.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:07 am | Reply
  38. Irishlad

    For a Nation is such dark times....to put in such an effort to a game and to be robbed by a stupid action of henry....I agree with Trap.....if we lost on peno`s it would be easier to swallow. I hope the French enjoy the haloow victory. The Irish played the best game in living memory and this is one game that our nation wont forget

    November 19, 2009 at 11:08 am | Reply
  39. Taimur

    Henry is superstar and he shouldn't act like that.....he should be banned from football for life as he admitted it after the match with a smile...

    November 19, 2009 at 11:12 am | Reply
  40. Anon

    The goal should have been watched on instant replay and disalowed. Fair is fair and handballs are not allowed in the Sport. What kind of message are we sending to football fans and you ng children playing football in clubs and in estates aroundthe world. It is a disgrace and there should be a re-match.

    A quick question- how reputable does FIFA want to be in the World of Soccer?

    November 19, 2009 at 11:12 am | Reply
  41. Jay

    BLAME IT ON THE REF, NOT ON HENRY
    BLAME IT ON THE 2 LINES MEN NOT HENRY
    BLAME IT ON THE RE RE RE RE RE RE FE REE
    BLAME IT ON THE RE RE RE RE RE RE FE REE.
    ( Blame It Remix) Dance to that people.
    PEACE!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:14 am | Reply
  42. Bola Ogunsola

    Henry action is a disgrace and my respect for him drooped to zero immediately. Intergrity in life should override any other interest and in this case, Henry refused to be counted. Am sure, this will hunt him for the rest of his football career and beyond. Its really disgusting.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  43. Milad

    It is quite clear what the FIFA are aiming at ... it is not a coincidence that the draft was based on FIFA rankings, and it's not a coincidence as well that the Refree who was in a perfect angle him and his assistant to not see the hand of Cheat Henry ... the hands of Blatter are all over the ball as well ...

    November 19, 2009 at 11:20 am | Reply
  44. Joe

    Not only will FIFA not give a replay, they will bury this travesty. Look at the FIFA.com website. There is no mention of the handball. Also, there is no place to add a comment....on the Irish French match. You can, however, comment on any other match played last night. FIFA Justice?? Not likely!
    Remember the qualification group scandal for the 1982 world cup when France went through instead of Ireland? Nobody else does either...because FIFA buried that one also.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:21 am | Reply
  45. Ravi Kumar

    As they say, God sees the truth but waits...It was a fair play...Refree should be blamed not Henry at all...Its mere qualifying for the finals...The battle has finished but the WAR is still on...Go FIFA...

    November 19, 2009 at 11:23 am | Reply
  46. glenn

    It's sad for the irsh team who worked so hard. First they get screwed by FIFA when they decided to seed the playoffs(most tournament rules are made a head of time), then they get screwed by a cheat. it's clear that FIFA wanted the bigger countries in the world cup. it's all politics and money. F#@$ FIFA and F#@$ france!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:25 am | Reply
  47. Giusti Francisco

    France stay home.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:26 am | Reply
  48. Don't cry over spilt milk - Drink it while you still can - dummy!

    Tragic end to a promising Eire run, but that's life.
    I'm Irish and think we deserved better, but on the balance of play, I hate to admit that over the 2 legs, France were the better team and deserved to go through to the 2010 World Cup, given their better quality of football and pedigree of their players.

    Although in the end France won by hook or crook, I believe Ireland had many gilt-edged chances yesterday to score and knock out France. But as was our fate, Robbie Keane, Kevin Doyle, Damien Duff and the lot wasted all these chances, including two 1-on-1 chances to score.

    The World Cup is meant to be an entertaining celebration of everything soccer – and don't believe Ireland would provide better value compared to France. You need a team with experience, skill, tricks and tact to contend with the best of them – and I think Ireland were not ready yet to go to the World Cup this time round.

    France had better play their best and entertain us next year!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:27 am | Reply
  49. Belmiro

    It was a robbery, plain and simple.
    Robbery against the sport, against an entire country.
    And there is no penalty against it?

    November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am | Reply
  50. pius

    pls giv him a break....all players do it...i bet an irish player would have done it if given the chance....lol

    November 19, 2009 at 11:31 am | Reply
  51. Victor Okolie

    Henry has been my man right from day one,but i'm not in support of the so called "HAND OF GOD".He should be penalized.Result's must be achieved through hard work.If asked about what penalty,MISS FIRST 3 MATCHES OF THE WORLD CUP,PAY $10,000.TO CHARITY.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:32 am | Reply
  52. Piney

    As recently as 11 years ago ? World Cup w/out France seems the norm, not unthinkable.
    A professional athlete that will not cheat to win, now that is becoming unthinkable.
    It used to be about the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:40 am | Reply
  53. kumfi jonathan , kano Nigeria

    ---its a disgrace to the well celebrated leather game, all FIFA how to do well is sing the "MY GAME IS FAIR PLAY SONG" without any action............that FIFA makes not even a comment on the whole situation is a demostration its weakness and failure.

    Shame to henri, shame to France and big shame to FIFA !

    November 19, 2009 at 11:41 am | Reply
  54. Márcio Junqueira

    France is an honoured country, and should be the first one requesting another game.. they should take the lead and give this great example to the world.. it would be an outstanding attitude, and stand as a crystal clear message that there is no merit whatsoever in winning without merit...

    November 19, 2009 at 11:42 am | Reply
  55. ransford

    african countries should withdraw from south africa if fifa allow the france and ireland scoreline to stand. the same will happen to an african country and fifa will allow it to stand because africa is mirron in world football

    November 19, 2009 at 11:42 am | Reply
  56. mohsin

    Henry is dead for me. he disgraced the whole french nation. Ireland already have won something more than world cup to me. salute to their continous hard work and fair play. By the way i am not irish neither french.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:42 am | Reply
  57. Eric

    Once again the credibility of soccer is at stake. FIFA millions of dollars from the sponsorships and contracts for showing the game across the globe yet they have failed to improve the justice in the game. Looking at the cricket, rugby league and american footballs they have managed to minimised cheats in the game each but in soccer, scandals or cheats arise now and then. It's the high time for Blatter and his chose another career. But also its a reminder FIFA has its owners – few european countries -– such as france, spain, Italy, portugal. Stop kidding yourselves FIFA is a world organisation - its by the name.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:43 am | Reply
  58. G K

    I think Thierry Hand-ry showed that France had learnt from Zizou's mistake at the last World Cup. Whereas one didn't think and used his head, or rather lost his head, the other proved he had the Hands-on experience to win matches.

    Perhaps Hand-ry thought that where a match is at a stalemate, a little harmless Handiwork won't hurt. So trust the French footballers to resort to underHand tactics to win...

    Anyway, the French win over Ireland erases the injustic of their loss to Italy in the World Cup Final. They must feel that the second wrong has made it right for them.

    Poor Ireland though. But having said that, Ireland only managed to score 1 goal over two legs, so it cannot be said that they deserved to win any more than France, no matter how much "better' Ireland is said to have played in the 2nd leg. And a penalty shoot-out is not a good way of deciding matches either.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:44 am | Reply
  59. bridget ross

    ireland should have a rematch with france and let the best team win

    November 19, 2009 at 11:44 am | Reply
  60. david ohayon

    No. It was not a disgrace from the part of Henry. The referee takes part in the game. Many teams lost games because of referees. That is the game. Otherwise why with all this technology they do not appoint a separate team to see and repeat critical moments of the game. By that the referees can be informed immediately with wrong decisions.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:45 am | Reply
  61. paul

    LIBERTIE ?
    France pop. 74 million
    Ireland pop. 4.5 million,,
    This is the WORLD CUP.
    .....................World.............
    Financial Decision,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,France,,,Have it.
    The right decision,for everyone who loves sport,& anyone who wants their Children to learn to play football,Fairly.
    Not to think it is OK to cheat,is for the French,& French Team,& Thierry
    Henry,to offer Ireland a replay.
    This would redeem THEIR name/s/.And put the LIBBERTY & Justice,
    back inro the ,,,,,World Cup..
    If this was the Final,,,,Would they get away with it?

    November 19, 2009 at 11:45 am | Reply
  62. nelson

    first Zidane head butt now this Henry using his hand not once but twice .and his statement ,so cheating is okay just dont get caught,man i didnt like French peopl before much cause their attitudes .now imagine .the worst of all is he blames the referee for not seeing the infraction WOW arrogant ,cheater disloyal and french

    November 19, 2009 at 11:47 am | Reply
  63. Eric

    STOP!!!

    Blame it on FIFA not the player, players will continue to cheat until there is no more football.

    I sent a mail to FIFA recently recommending that they start using 4 assistant referee, each for a quarter of the field (90 degrees) with the main referee still the Boss. Referees should talk to the closest assistant before taking a decision if he is not sure and if that doesn't help, the referee should instantly request for a replay on the main screen at the stadium as we see on TV at home.

    Football is the only game that really unite the whole world, so we should all take it very important. Even countries at war celebrate football as one people.

    FIFA, please don't disappoint us, we will all be happy to see an improvement in the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:49 am | Reply
  64. Suresh

    There goes all the respect i have built throughout years for Henry down the drain!!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:50 am | Reply
  65. david

    Henry did NOT SCORE! Unlike Maradona. Give the guy a break. This type of thing happens. Henry has done so much for the sport of football. Have you people all forgotten that? This type of thing has happened to a lot of players.
    It's the referrees fault for not seeing it and it's FIFAs fault for not allowing video replays and/or a rematch.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:50 am | Reply
  66. Desiree

    "First, Ireland’s manager Giovanni Trappatoni, given the chance to blame Henry, instead pointed the finger at the referee for missing the incident."

    No, he went directly for the ref because only he could make a difference. I doubt the ref would have done anything if Henry went up and confessed. Also, it was also to expose the embarrassing conduct of the ref who hardly called anything i.e pushing players down. All in all, the match was a mess.

    I had a lot of respect for Henry as a player, but after this incident I have lost all respect for him. I would expect someone of his caliber to not behave like this on the field, especially in such a crucial match.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  67. Stephan

    It is a little ironic. In the last world cup football final Zidane was finally sent off for his head butt because, the rumour has it, that the 4th referee saw it on the stadium screens.
    Now this injustice goes in their favour.
    I totally agree that Ireland deserved to win but it is also true that had that goal not been allowed it did not mean that Ireland would have qualified anyway as there was still many minutes of the game left and then penalty shoot out.
    It is just sad that France can't qualify normally. Even their goal in Ireland was based on luck of a rebound off a player.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:52 am | Reply
  68. Henry

    So many hypocrites here.

    In a pol this morning, 88% of French said that Ireland deserved to win.
    I am sure that pol would not have been so strong in any other nation.

    Henry admitted his hand (Maradona, nearly 25 years later)

    So you can blame the system all you want, but don't blame the players who play within that system.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:53 am | Reply
  69. Tanveer

    I am not too sure if we should blame the referee here. At the end of the day he is a human being. Hence mistakes are inevitable.

    3 Things that Fifa could do now:

    1. For the sake of the 'Fairplay' tag, they should BAN Henry
    2. They should bring in technology in to help the Refz out
    3. Ensure a re-match

    November 19, 2009 at 11:57 am | Reply
  70. Patrick

    If moronic leagues like the NFL and the NHL use video replays to correct or at least make decisions, why can't soccer the best sport on the planet do so too and fix this sort of thing from happening. Sadly it won't reverse our fate for 2010.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:58 am | Reply
  71. Dave

    I think FIFA's reputation is on the line.
    They talk a lot about FAIRPLAY... well this is their chance to put it into practice and arrange a replay. It's the only fair solution.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:58 am | Reply
  72. Gervais Thomasse

    Dear All ,
    It is over time to implement the 5 refrees concept and if this was on we would eleminate a lot of injustice in football. I do understant that FIFA/UEFA are not adamant with video, as I do, but I think they have to go forward urgently with the 5 refrees concept. Maradona's hand of God is still fresh in our minds and it is absolutely unbelievable that today we are accepting this . Let's hope that we will never again experience this kind of situation and certainly not in the 2010 finals.
    May God help .
    Gervais Thomasse

    November 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  73. GJBR

    The referee decides , no one else
    Those are the rules
    You don't like the rules ?
    So you want to break the rules because Henri broke the rules ?
    Then you just don't like the game

    November 19, 2009 at 12:00 pm | Reply
  74. Ibrahim

    there are always big mistakes in football. and this time it did not go irish's way

    November 19, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  75. Alexander

    Having been a referee, let me tell you one thing. The mistakes of football players are part of the game.....and the same is true for the mistakes of referees.... they make the game more interesting.

    What we should do though, is to punish players that cheat on the referees after the end of the game. This will prevent what happened last night from happening again!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  76. poul sodemann

    What is everybody getting all bent out of shape about? This is soccer/football! Players have been cheating/diving/faking injury/you-name-it for years and decades. And the single amateur ref and his two off pitch assistants have been missing obvious calls for even longer.
    This is business as usual for the sport.
    I stopped watching a long, long time ago.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  77. EZ in IRe

    Ireland was not robbed or cheated. They were just denied.

    "Second, even if the goal had been disallowed, the Republic would not necessarily have qualified for the World Cup finals. There were still 17 minutes of extra time to be played and then the tie would have gone to a penalty shoot-out, with no guarantee that Ireland would have come out on top."

    November 19, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  78. Elissa

    disgraceful, yes, but this brings back the game of 2006 where the replays showed the ball blatantly rolled over the goal line only to be followed in and kicked out by the goalie. Only, the referee did not see it, thus making France's goal non-existant.

    FIFA Football should move with the times and allow replays to help the refs.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  79. Niall

    Unbelievable case of cheating, ireland outplayed France and deserved to go through. Rematch

    November 19, 2009 at 12:10 pm | Reply
  80. Ricardo Marques

    This was not the first time that France took advantage from referees mistakes. Let me remind you that France won twice from Portugal in semi-finals (Euro2000 and World Cup2006) with penalties that didnt exist.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  81. David

    There should be a couple of video refs watching the game on screen. Captains should have 2 or 3 rights of appeal (like tennis with hawk eye) which are then agreed or denied by the video refs. This would limit time wasting and stop games lasting 3 days.
    Any useless appeal means they are penalised in some way or another (Back ten mts for ex)

    Then teams that don't use or win every video challenge should get a fair play reward at the end of each season say 1 billion $ as there is not a hope in hell football players will ever be fair play.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:15 pm | Reply
  82. Odi Okun

    France going to the world court is akin allowing a known criminal enjoy the proceeds of his crime.

    The Irish have my respect for the game they played and should be proud of themselves. There was only one team deserving to be at the world cup and the whole world know who it is not.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Reply
  83. okey

    It is time FIFA employ technology in deciding controversial calls in the field of play.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  84. William Brown

    only the best players can use the "Hand of God" without getting penaltalize for it and Henry is one of them §:o). Viva Barcelona!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  85. Mehgann

    Maybe it is unfair, but my mind goes back to the Martina Hingis French Open final with Steffi Graf...she was absolutely vilified for arguing that her ball was in, and she probably would have won if it were called in, but the ref said it was out even though you could see the mark in the dirt. ALL sports have the element of the unfair. Ireland wasn't cheated out of anything. This is a part of the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:20 pm | Reply
  86. Lets take a step back...

    Everyone, lets take a step back before we hang Henry out to dry...

    To be honest, players play the game at the professional level and it is up to the officials to make decisions..not for players to make them..if professional sports was all about integrity, then we wouldnt need referees in the first place as the players of both teams will referee themselves?!?!

    And have a think about this...

    If you are a basketballer, ever received a favourable out of bounds call or foul call when you were not fouled? did you own up?

    If you play football, ever receive a free kick when the defender got the ball first?

    At the end of the day, the officialdom is the problem...and I believe they are reluctant to use tv replay because it means that referee's can still decide games, i.e. ensure "the powerful teams" of football, i.e. the Brazilians, Germans, French, Argentinians have a slight advantage...

    Yes, conspiracy theory!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  87. Marie

    This was a once in a lifetime chance for this particular Irish team. It should never have been decided on an outdated stubborn system. The truth is the truth. It was a handball, whether the officials observed it at the time or not. I will not support the remainder the World Cup again until a better system is put in place. This needs to be addressed. Enough is enough.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  88. Manuel Varghese

    This is what happens when you allow somebody like Blatter to cling on to that precious chair for so many years... let this man move out and someone with a fresh mind come in

    November 19, 2009 at 12:23 pm | Reply
  89. Alpha Geek

    " it would have been an astonishing act of sportsmanship if Henry had rushed up to the match official to tell him the truth. "

    This is a very sad and depressing statement but it also cuts directly to the heart of this matter.

    Why should we not expect and demand such acts of sportsmanship?

    Why is the honorable behavior not the normal behavior?

    November 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  90. Stephan

    It is important to note that neither France nor Henry are to blame. The referees are there to decide on fairness and fouls. Often in football we talk of technical fouls, when a player purposely does a foul to let his team mates get back into position. Is that cheating? No, it is part of the game and the referees are there to sanction them if they see them.
    I agree that Ireland showed more merit to win but you can also argue that had they put away the 2 clear chances they had in the second half we would not be here discussing a hand ball and even if that goal had been disallowed it did not mean they were qualified. They still had to resist some minutes and then win a penalty shoot out.
    All credit to Henry to admitting that it was a hand ball and all blame on the referees, all four of them, who were collectively incapable of seeing the foul and the off side that lead up to the hand ball.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  91. Sorry

    i'm French and i can tell you this morning at work everybody is sad just like is we had lost. Nobody is proud of this victory.
    But it's not henry's fault, and not the referee's fault, the only solution is video. Player always cheat simulating faults and hoping to get penalties, and once they get the penalty they shoot it and it's considered as 'normal'. Well this is not normal, there should be and external video referee.
    The only ones who could ask the replay this match are the french football league or the fifa. But they wont do it because they consider cheating is part of the game.
    Sorry, if i could i would vote to replay the match ... but noone will ever ask me.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  92. Mark

    I don't fully agree with introducing a video ref.

    What should happen is, If the ref. suspects but doesn't see an incident, the player should be called over and asked. Then that incident can be reviewed after the game and if the player is found to be lying, retrospective action taken.

    As despicable as the handball was, under the current situation it would have wrong of Henry not to try it..

    November 19, 2009 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  93. Shirley

    I am neither French nor British not even a European but I must remind us when Zinadine was expelled from the field even when all knew,he was called a black monkey we should just bear in good faith

    November 19, 2009 at 12:28 pm | Reply
  94. Dean

    I think the only redeemable factory of this episode has been the French embarrassment and disgust at the manner of their qualification. This shows they are by-and-large an honourable people and should be commended for their humbleness. The Argentineans of 1986 however......

    November 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  95. Jean-Pierre

    Guys,
    I am completely neutral, I sincerly believe this hand was not delibarate. My feeling is that Ireland, after scoring was not fair-playing, therefore the goal from France was more than well deserved, and no one has been robbed.
    Guys there has to be a winner (and a loser), get over it!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  96. John J O'Shea

    I had a feeling that by "hook or by crook" France would win this game. FiFA should be ashamed of themselves but of course they won't!

    Henry let himself down last night, I used to think he was a decent person, he can't be mentioned in the same breath as Tiger Woods (Could you ever see Tiger kick his golf ball out of the rough to gain an advantage!...no, nor could I)

    It is a shame for Ireland as their supporters are the best in the world and deserve better treatment from FIFA .

    It's fair to say that we need video playback to help the referees (like rugby) but in this instance I doubt the powers that be would have appreciated it!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  97. Sam Eddi

    I don't blame Henry , I am surprised to some of the comments here against Henry. The guy was honest and admitted that it was a handball. Now it is up to the FIFA to act. If any player needs to admit about cheating during the game , then 80% of players will be questioned.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  98. pete

    i am very sorry for the irish team. They make it so hard for the tournament and deniel for the World Cup by another hand of god and poor referee Go Brazil

    November 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  99. Fabio

    FR were lucky... Would have preferred IE at the Finals thou..
    only technology to be introduced is the goal line camera!
    what else would be left to discuss after such a great night of football? maybe the new colored boots or new hair cuts of the players...

    November 19, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  100. Kevin Mac Gowan

    I'm not a soccer fan and follow Rugby, but as an Irish man I did want Ireland to beat France. That they lost so tragically is in my view down to two factors:
    1. Ireland played lukewarm in their own stadium and actually left their qualification chances against a misfiring France in Dublin
    2. The ref is an integral and above all active part of any sport, he is not a 'Deus Ex Machina'. As such, he/she bears the responsibility for success and failure no more or less than any player or coach. Therefor, like it or not, his decision is to be respected uncategorically and without reservation. Otherwise why bother having a ref in the first place!

    Rugby being a far more complex and faster game now than it was in its amateur days, which ended in 1996, now has a Television Match Official (TMO) and I consider this to be wrong. The reason for this is, that we now have the same negative developments in Rugby that football has become so famous for. The disrepect to referees in Rugby is not up the level it is in soccer yet, because in Rugby only captains are (theoretically) allowed to speak to a ref and the traditional respect is something players are imbued with from the very first time they play a match.

    Bearing this in mind, it is also not a case of having video replays, its far more about values of personal integrity and sportsmanship. Unfortunately, Henry acted as the consummate professional he is and did not own up to the ref. Why does someone like him , with a reputation to lose, do this? I think it has to do with importance we on winning, money, prestige and personal hubris and no longer on the sport itself. So in a way we are all (regardless of nationality) getting what we deserve from football.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  101. Gareth Fegan

    I am a proud Irish fan and can not believe how well we played last night!! To silence the French in that manor, all that aside I can not believe that in 2009 we still have incidents like the hand of God, technology is the life blood of the modern world, would we not just be apes swinging from trees if we did not evolve. The mechanisation of human labour and the industrial revolution, why oh why does FIFA what to keep the beautiful game in the past? All I say is change this now, so no other persons feel the way we Irish do today “Cheated”.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:36 pm | Reply
  102. Jeff

    Surprisingly, this is one instance where American Football IS better than real Football.

    FIFA definitely SHOULD bring in video replay on, at the very least, goals. Just to verify issues like this.

    Beyond that, east team should be allowed 1 timeout per period to use at their own discretion. By taking a page from American Football, a coach could use his time out to challenge a particular call (which means the officials will review all video replay of the event to verify or reverse their decision). If the ruling is in the favor of the challenging team, they get their timeout back. If it is ruled against them, they lose it.

    It seems this issue of three refs and no 'eye in the sky' oversight rears its ugly head in just about every major game lately. Its time to revamp the system, for the good of the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  103. Léo

    Henry passed the ball with his hand, OK. And Trapattoni is right : it was the refferree's responsability. He made a mistake, just as when he didn't blow his whistle on the penalty kick that should have been awarded to Anelka minutes before. That's the game, guys ! You will have forgotten this in two or three weeks, so don't get excited.

    And please try not to use this sports event to use the old anti-French contempt a lot of Anglo-Saxons just can"t snape out of since 2003...

    November 19, 2009 at 12:41 pm | Reply
  104. logic

    How odd was Henry's rational?

    It was a handball, but it's the ref's fault that he didn't call foul on it???
    I shall rob someone, evade justice, have no shame, and blame the police for not catching me. Nice, Henry...nice...

    November 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  105. Exposure

    This is the best thing that can happen to football/soccer in that idiots like me only follow the game when there is a problem like this...

    If I click on an ad after writing this note, then it was all worth while...

    If they wanted fair, they would just put a transponder in the balls and use instant replays....

    The only conspiracy is that we are all stupid enough to think there is a conspiracy.

    People in power are more worried about how long their limo taking them to the game is or how many times their name will appear in print.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:44 pm | Reply
  106. Canada

    This is awful. What should I say to my son? Any organization that has rules that make me feel this way is doing something wrong. They should be ashamed. And French, if the honour still means anything, they should volunteer cancellation of the game. Otherwise, what is the point...

    November 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm | Reply
  107. greece13

    Firstly, Gillette should at once break the advertising contract they have with Henry. This is the least the company could do as a courtesy towards millions of sports fans around the globe.

    Evidently, last night should also make FIFA reconsider the use of video replays. The sad thing is that Michel Platini now has his way, his boys are there in SA next year, after Platini&Co. manipulated the play-offs so that the four 'stronger' teams were paired off with the four others. It's all about money at FIFA and UEFA, it's important to show the big teams in SA instead of Bosnia and Ireland, but what they do is against the very idea of fair play, and it's all the sadder if they let Henry get away with this.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm | Reply
  108. keeper01

    Ok, so how is Henry's handball any different from a guy that dives in the box when someone attempts to slide tackle them and then he gets the penalty kick? Sure it's a gentleman's sport, but shady stuff like this has been happening for decades. If the ref sees it great, if not, then get over it. Why slow the game up and make it suck like american football by adding a camera?

    November 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  109. vincent

    FIFA Fraud In Football Acceptable!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  110. vincent

    LEO.. 4 comments above me, Anelka DIVED!!! Something else FIFA should stamp out!!!!!!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Reply
  111. Ronando

    Sure, there were 17 mins left to play but Ireland were on top, as they were throughout the match. This is hard to swallow. The referee should have spoken with his linesman after seeing the reaction of Shay Given and the rest of the Irish lads. First of all, it was offside and secondly, it was hard to miss that handball. The linesman should have noticed one of them but the ref just made his decision immediately.

    France don't deserve this and I've spoken to and read comments from a hell of a lot of french people who don't think France deserve this and who would support the idea of a replay. Surely Blatter, with all his talk about Fair Play, will take a stand and have the replay. I remember there was a playoff replayed a few years back between Uzbekistan and Bahrain or someone. Why not now???

    But you just know nothing will be done about it. Platini and Blatter are happy.......

    November 19, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  112. Marko

    blame the french mascot (rooster). Def was in on it !!

    November 19, 2009 at 12:52 pm | Reply
  113. Jeff

    I don't think Henry's rationale was odd at all. These players are trained to follow an antiquated system of officiating where, if a ref doesn't call it, you didn't do it.

    I can think of very few players in any sport that would voluntarily fess up to a ref if they didn't get caught in the first place.

    Yes, Henry was wrong to do it. He cheated, and he knows he cheated. Plain and simple.

    Yes, the system is screwed up and FIFA needs to see the writing on the wall. We understand that the World Cup is, first and foremost, a business.

    The problem is that on-field integrity ranks a very severe low on the list of important things in this sport. Or else you wouldn't have so many players taking dives while grasping their shins in agony, only to look up and realize no one is paying attention to them, so they jump up and run back into the game without a hint of injury.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  114. sam22

    Ireland has been ROBBBED . France is a disgrace !!!!!!!!!! , FIFA MUST do something about this and Dont just you dont aware of this ... As a football fan , we feel cheated by this situation .

    November 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  115. edda bonito

    Once more the french chauvinists cheated and won. It reminds me about 2004 when they cheated Portugal out of the game and they repeat it again and again and again as they have now Mr. Platini holding his protective hand over them. The argument that cameras would destroy the game is so stupid. Did cameras destroy rugby ??
    If FIFA wants to gain back some reputation accept the tv pics and make fair decisions. The referee is only human and they are prone to errors. Mr. Henry should start vomiting each morning when he looks into his mirror, because of the image he will see there. Who knows if Ireland wouldnt have been able to achieve another goal ? To say they wouldnt qualify is even more stupid, because the penalties can go either way and the nerves of the french lay blank and might have given a victory to Ireland. Whom would have believed that Argelia would qualify? That was football.....emotion, excitement and a surprising result. The same could have happened last night in France. I hope Mr. Henry will get from tootball supporters in his next club game the reception he deserves. I not french, not irish, not english. I just love the most beautiful game we can play: football.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:54 pm | Reply
  116. Jukka

    While I agree that an injustice was done and that Ireland should have had a fair chance to try to win the match that still had plenty time left. And both teams could still had won it fair and square. Having played the game myself, I do not want the fluidity of game to change by constant instant replays. The sports using it (i.e. football, basketball, icehockey) already are 'stop-and-go' by their nature so instant replays did not change them just made some of the breaks a little longer. But I do support using it for goal situations for the major international competitions. I believe though that 2 extra referees behind goals will be a more realistic way to go since that can be afforded by even smaller leagues and junior tournaments. Additional set of eyes from a different angle could have prevented this injustice – since linesman and referee's view could have been blocked. And let's remember that the referee must make an instant decision as to whether 'ball hit the hand' or 'hand hit the ball' and this is a tough call often even with the instant replay. And let's be fair to Henry – if we want to punish players who do not own up to their fauls (whether hand ball, kick, pull, trip, etc.) we would have plenty players being banned from matches all the time. It is part of every sport and it is the referees' responsiblity to catch them. Just my opinion.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  117. keziah

    l agree with Gilbert it was crystal clear that the game between Nigeria vs Kenya wasn't fair at all.this is very irresponsible for FIFA,we count on them for a fair game and now they can't be trusted anymore, it seems only the countries they want get to qualify for the world cup.This is corruption l say.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  118. Julien

    Then again, i don't see why Ireland would have deserved more than France to qualify, if you take this handball foul out and ignore the goal. On the overall 2 matches, the teams were pretty equal. Furthemore, the goal comes after 3 French goals which were refused for offside on both matches, and in the end of the game the French team was dominating anyway. There are a lot of other teams which have won in hazardous ways in the past.

    However, the fact that this stories does the big news today is quite interesting I think. You can take things the other way arround. Would there be all this today if it was Ireland who had scored and qualified thanks to a handball? Surely not.

    I see here the expression of a given latent anti-French kind of racism which is lurking itself in "good principles" and "laws" but nonetheless blames our country at the highest levels once there is a chance for it. We won't complain, but we won't forget it.

    November 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  119. ziggy

    With FIFA being ran by the French there is no chance of a replay

    November 19, 2009 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  120. Cesare (Italy)

    Irishmen will never be compensated. But the least FIFA could do is to let Henry atone for his foul play serving a 10 matches ban, and miss completely a World Cup he (at least, he) doesn't deserve to play!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:02 pm | Reply
  121. cabrito

    Great Henry, it is important to show that the game is not fair. This is the only path for improvement.
    In tennis there is a wonderful system (hawk eye), that could be addapted to soccer...

    I would encourage all players to do the same... if the rules are not correct, change them!

    Great Henry... I'm still laughing

    November 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Reply
  122. eric

    Well done Thierry! You saw an opportunity and took it. Can't wait to welcome you guys to SA.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:05 pm | Reply
  123. bliss

    "This is part of the joy of football." – Alex ???

    How is this part of the joy of football? over the past century it was anything but the joy of football. just because injustices happened in the past doesn't mean that WE have to go on living with these injustices in the future.

    People like Alex are afraid of change. Sometimes change is for the better and in this case, having simple video replays for big decisions such as goals and PKs should be allowed.

    they only take seconds and will most likely only add 30 secs of added time at the end of each half.

    I'm sick of that fallacy "this is part of the joy of football". there is NO joy in injustices full stop.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  124. Joao Paulo

    Ireland was not exactly cheated out ..... BUT TOTALLY MUTILATED !!!!! Call 911 for this referee !!!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  125. stelios

    This actions ridicule football!!! Men in black decide which teams go at world cups and who wins or lose.
    Just make the "tv replay" available to the ref and get over with!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:10 pm | Reply
  126. Paddy O'Vaughan

    Hey, Jean-Pierre, what are ye talking about?

    First of all I can hardly believe you are neutral with a name like that. When you say you don't think the hand was deliberate, that's like saying my Pa didn't mean to mow his field, he was just driving a tractor with the machinery on it at the time!

    As for there has to be a winner, sure, but I don't think the French'll be finding the crock o'gold at the end of the World Cup rainbow in 2010, I'm telling ye!

    Hope YOU get over the plain and simple fact that ye are LE CHEATS!!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  127. Sfiso Memela

    Another reason why football needs technological intervention. Many players get unjustified red cards, concede ilegitimate goals and in a process loose a lot of money. Get technology to decide things like these. It would have taken 60 seconds but a major disaster would have been averted. In all honesty this game should be replayed.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  128. KRISHNA

    this is not the first time a handball n football history...i dont think its just bcoz of worldcup qualifying round, the world is pointing out this issue. if we need to change this kind of situation, ther should be a third referee which has to monitor the game thru tv and take the appropriate decision on the spot.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  129. kimo

    People fifa is a business first and foremost. All they care about is the large teams qualifying for global TV revenue. When an egyptian player handled the ball on the goal line against brazil in the confed cup in extra time with the score tied 3 all, the ref signaled a goal kick and then decided to give a penalty because the fourth ref saw it on the monitor. This was clearly against the rules but they could not risk brazil going out due to the refs error. What happened with ireland yesterday is a travesty and sends the wrong message. Give both coaches the right to dispute 2 calls per match whether it be a penalty, a ball crossing the line, a red card, a handball like this one, or a clear offside goal that the referee missed. The only thing that should be left out is a miscalled offside

    November 19, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  130. Dago

    Cry you a river bulid a bridge and get over it!... If you want to win and qualify for the finals, you can not let it to the referees or the judges, you just beat your opponent. Those could haves, would haves...forget it.
    No offense to the Irish...but if you guys really wanted to go to the finals you should have won for 3 or 4 goals, clean and decisive. No exuses, get the job done, that's life.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  131. Nic

    France should have had a penalty just before the goal anyway...
    France wins! YEAH!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  132. Ayman

    I really love the game but not when incidents like this happen.
    There was too much at stake yesterday to let this slip! Completely unacceptable. Ireland were simply robbed – and they don't deserve it. Fifa should at least replay the Extra time if not the full game. Fifa can make history if they stand by the values they preach – and they've got a chance to redeem themselves NOW!
    For the first time in history – fans today can voice their opinion loudly from all over the world, LET US NOT LET THIS SLIP! Even the French are disgraced on how they qualified! LET US NOT LET THIS SLIP, voice your opinion on every news site on every blog on every Twitter account and on every Facebook account!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  133. we did it!

    All teams where robed by fifa at the start of this final games if you just look how they did it with lower ranking teams like Bih, Slo, Ukr and Irland. lower ranking teams playing against one of the best teams in the world that was the start of fifa robery realy if you ask me. Oki Slovenia did play good and with a bit of luck Slovenia managed it to join WC in South Africa but i feel bad for irland was not fair but at the end i think it will stay like that as it is sorry irland but at the end fifa has last word here and they will do what ever is in there interest not the interest of irland or France was always like that first keep your a.. well fead then come others in the line.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  134. Dora

    I have been a fan of Henry and am still, Henry use to be a very sincere player, but what happend yesterday is really disappointing.

    But at the same time, this is not the first time such thing will be witnessed. we have seen many cases of cheating as far as the game is concerned.

    Henry is not the referee, blame it on the officials.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  135. bruno cagney

    Hmmmm, looking again and again at the replay, i actually think there is no hand foulplay from henry......(I can hear the uproar slowly building up around the planet as I write these words)

    November 19, 2009 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  136. Rawlie

    Firstly, as a Villa and England supporter, I have got fond memories of the Irish in USA '94 and am gutted that they won't be in South Africa next year. Bad luck, Boys. Now to the rant. How did we let this fair game of ours be exploited by idiots like Sepp Blatter and the oh so overrated Michel Platini? I hate to say it but the Republic of Ireland FA need to look into legal action against FIFA for loss of earnings due to the incompetence of a FIFA employee. You would never get them on a corruption charge, but this would give them something to think about. They really don't care about reputation as has been well documented in previous posts. Hit them in the pocket because the only thing they care about is the earning potential of the beautiful game. France is perceived by those free lunching, fat cats of FIFA to be a bigger draw for supporters than Ireland and I can really see some level of pressure being heaped upon the referee to ensure France's qualification. FIFA Fairplay? Don't make me laugh!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  137. Ronan

    I'm an Irishman who was disgusted by what happened last night. People are saying not to blame Henry, which is ridiculous. A 100m metre sprinter using steroids is a cheater whether he's caught or not, the same should apply to PROFESSIONAL footballers breaking the rules. This whole campaign has made me lose faith in FIFA and any competition they run. They changed the rules late in the competition to favour the big teams, and then this happens. Combine this with players out to con referees, referees that constantly make poor calls, and a lack of video replay to support decisions. Its true, that the game was still in the balance and we still may not have qualified. No excuse, France went through because of a cheater, plain and simple. I'm am irate and so is every true football supporter in the world, of which I may not be one for much longer

    November 19, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  138. David

    There is absolutely no reason to blame Henry for any of this. It is not his job to officiate the game. Think about all the hand balls that happen in soccer, are we so naive to to persecute one player for a handball and call him a cheat!
    Let us then rather intelligently use our minds minds and logically ask for answers from those with the JOB and the AUTHORITY to fix such situations. Do not be angry at France, or Henry, their job is to play (and definitely not try to convince the officials of a non-call against them) . The fact that it didn't get called is what should be answered. In becoming angry at Henry one is only going after the straw man. He is not to blame and his reputation should be intact.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:31 pm | Reply
  139. Rock

    Let's be honest here. How many times during a game are shirts pulled, players pulled, players kicked (intentionally) etc. and nothing gets called. A good player knows how to break the rules when needed and not get caught. Just because of the outcome does not disgrace the game in any way. All players are competitive and they ALL break the rules when they think they can or when they feel they need to. This is no different to the other 50 calls in every game that never get called. Hand ball, ref doesn't see it, no call, goal. Not the first time people. The French team may be lucky but that is it. The team or Henry having nothing to be ashamed of. This is and always will be "The Beautiful Game".

    November 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  140. Antoine

    Ireland was cheated…… However, I fully agree with the posting of MO. It is not fair to blame Henry, as FIFA is the one where all the blame should be placed.

    There were many fouls in this game that went unnoticed by the officials and many of these fouls were committed in the box, and the referees missed them all. Yet there was no mass hysteria, about the referees errors, in fact one announcer proclaimed "we cannot expect the referee to see it all ..... They are only human".

    We can ask ourselves the question how many player is soccer at any level, has committed a foul and then owned up to the official????

    There should be an immediate adoption of an Instant Review System, to be administered by a separate official, and only be used at critical times as in the case of the France Ireland match yesterday.

    FIFA MUST ACT BEFORE SOUTH AFRICA

    November 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  141. Ignacio

    Everyone should blame FIFA for a couple of reasons: 1- The level of referees in definitely low (can´t 3 referees see Henry´s hand?) 2 – Fifa does nothing to sanctionate those referees

    November 19, 2009 at 1:32 pm | Reply
  142. aidan

    i'm irish we were treated terribly by fifa last night firstly the play off were seeded this gave the bigger countries a better chance of qualifing. This was not decided at the start of the competition but only when fifa saw france and russia in this situation and not wanting to lose out on the hugh sponsership markets in these bigger nations the decided to seed the draw in favour of theses countries. The goal was a hand ball and off side if tv replay were avaliable this goal would not have stood. Funnly the main opponent to the tv ref is the french man Micheal Platini. Cheats should not be rewarded that is not the way life works. Kids in ireland are completly dissolusioned about football now. it's more politics than sport. this would not have happened in rugby or golf .

    November 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  143. Gary J Byrnes

    Thierry Henry has just quit football and is turning to handball as this is obviously where his skills lie. But seriously folks, Henry's hard-earned reputation as a great footballer is now in tatters as he was the lead cheater in a team of French cheaters that denied Ireland a place in the 2010 World Cup. But instead of just feeling angry, here are 3 things that you can do to ensure that a travesty such as this does not happen again:

    1. Email FIFA and demand that video referees are brought into football, exactly as they operate in rugby. http://www.fifa.com/contact/form.html

    2. Boycott all Gillette products until Henry is pulled from their TV ads – and let Gillette know that you're boycotting them!

    http://pg.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/pg.cfg/php/enduser/ask.php

    3. Contact the FAI and insist that they put in a formal complaint about the referee in the game – the guy was clearly under orders from on high to err on the side of the French. Also, he was generally useless and made many huge mistakes.
    info@fai.ie

    November 19, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  144. Fergus

    Replay referee required. No doubt in my mind about that.

    We need to stop all of the professional fouls in football. All it does is ruin the game and results in less chances & less excitement – more 0-0 and 0-1 results. Football is in danger of becomming un-entertaining.

    Sure, the first month or so would be a bit of a mess because of so many frees & sending offs. However, players would soon get used to the fact that they won;t get away with the fouls and football would become a much better spectacle.

    I'm Irish and I'm not investing anymore of my time, watching a crooked game.

    Well done the lads. Great performance in Paris last night. Pity you left it so late in the qualifiers to start playing like that.

    Henry, you have brought no honour on yourself, your country or football.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:36 pm | Reply
  145. Chris Bruckmayr

    What a moral desaster. FIFA is dead.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:37 pm | Reply
  146. Bossa Nova

    THIERRY HENRY's DIVE against Spain in WORLD CUP 2006 turned the game, and France immediately scored, eliminating Spain, and went through the the semi-finals.

    FIFA and UEFA love France and they love big names. So they reward the elite superstars. Face it. FIFA is all about big business. Big Time Wrestling / FIFA.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  147. John

    The passion and commitment Ireland showed in outclassing France in the play off game in France was remarkable. In a game so important it is left to the team with the most heart and determination to progress into the world cup final stages, unfortunately this was not the case. Henry used his footballing experience and skills do decieve the ref and this and the poor skills of a linesman and ref determined the outcome of such a crucial and important game. I feel sorry for Ireland as for 2 years they have worked so hard only to be cheating out of the place in the world cup by a cheat and a poor ref and linesman. It is true that Ireland were still not gaurenteed a place in the finals stages but who could of bet against them with the courage and commitment that they showed throughout the game. I believe Ireland would have gone through. On the FIfa website they do not even acknowledge that the handball even took place, so what does that tell you.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  148. ant

    It's very strange to me that Giovanni Trapattoni was robberd again once more:
    - The first time during Italy vs Korea , referee was Moreno, every italian like me of course remember very well what happened...
    - Yesterday against France.

    What's Platini idea of football?

    November 19, 2009 at 1:38 pm | Reply
  149. Michel

    @ Jean-Pierre,
    I completely agree with you Jean Pierre, the French victory was well deserved. France has once again shown that they can handle pressure with style and elegance.
    They are clearly amongst the favorites for the World Cup.

    Regards

    November 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm | Reply
  150. ray

    I'm so disapiont! Henry must do something...or he will not sleeping well anymore...

    November 19, 2009 at 1:41 pm | Reply
  151. Chamu Chimusoro

    I am neither a French or Ireland national but Henry did football in general and himself in particular a big deservice. I am sure the ball hit his hand accidentally in the first place but he then controlled it from going out of play with his hand. Fifa should wake up to the 21st century and use video replay. If they feel this will slow down the game, then go the Europa league with 5 officials on the field of play. Another incident is the Liverpool Gong penalty against Birmingham. Such small mistakes can cost small teams dearly if they do get relegated. The modern game is just too fast for one referee and 2 assistance. Hope somethin is done before SA 2010 but FIFA is just like Zanu PF in Zimbabwe, they rig elections buy corrupting football association bosses from most 3rd. world countries. I hope Henry and all other cheats loose their advertising deals just like IAAF where they strip chetas of their medals after failling doping tests. Good luck to Le Blue but I hope they don't make it past the 2010 group stages. Fifa should arrange a replay in a neutral venue for the Irish to get a fair deal,

    November 19, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  152. jd

    if you watch the vid over and over again, he did twice to control the ball with his magic hand in a fraction of seconds, no doubt about it, why confessed later, because of the guilty feeling right? because he's now having this sense of insecure feeling about the surrounding and about other people's perceptions towards him later on, he knew that people all over the world have had high respect for him, what about now? i bet he's a pro basketball/handball player as well, a new contract is on the way horay, well done hand-ry!

    November 19, 2009 at 1:45 pm | Reply
  153. Weird

    Apart from FIFA's refusal to use technology to make the game better, what about "stopping the game clock" when the ball is out-of-bounds, player down on injury, dead ball situations etc.? Why should the referees be clocking the game where they should more focus on refereeing the game? Is technology not ready or human resource expensive?? What about NFL, NHL, NBA? No wonder soccer is a hard-sale in USA.....

    November 19, 2009 at 1:46 pm | Reply
  154. Seán

    I heard the Swedish are supporting us about this travesty.

    Ireland played their hearts out and lost in the ned but at least we can say: "We at least did not qualify for the World Cup by cheating."

    November 19, 2009 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  155. paddy

    Is there a website that Gillette can be made aware of what kind of sportsman their spokesman is.

    November 19, 2009 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  156. mark

    it is time for all the fans in the world to stand up and say:" sports is sports, not someone's private business".

    November 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  157. michael On

    Henry please apologise and call for a replay to restore the integrity of the game that we all love.. and to savage your career and legacy...

    Look at what happened to Zedane...can't stop thinking of that HEAD BUTT, even if he was & still one of the greatest footballer of our time...and was probably right in my opinion..

    Henry please don't end up with the same FATE!

    Replay....Replay....Replay....Replay....Replay....Replay....Replay....Replay.... FiFa

    November 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  158. Nii

    Players everywhere do it – out of desperation, with the hopes of not being caught. The shame here is not on France but FIFA which has never been fair, to start with. Is anything here new???

    November 19, 2009 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  159. Kenneth Polak

    There is too much at stake in football, especially world cup soccer qualifying. I am a big Barcelona and Henri fan, but I did not like the refs decision to allow that goal. The ref should be banned from international football, but bet your life: This same ref will be leading games again in South Africa next year. Fifa, why not using modern technology when so much it at stake. It works in the NBA, it works in tennis, and it certainly is going to work in football. FIFA give it a try or you will loose faith in millions of soccer fans.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  160. john

    cant belive this is happening around this era. soccer is number one sport in the world hence should be at least the most honest. am not from france but i love the way they play. i would have hate not seeing france in the world cup but i dont want to seing like this. FIFA RULES GOT TO CHANGE

    November 19, 2009 at 2:09 pm | Reply
  161. Heriberto Rodriguez

    SHAME and OUTRAGE... Where's the fairplay, even if there wasn't physical contact, there should be sportsmanship on the field... To allow France to go to the world cup should be considered a disgrace to soccer and it would be a big slap for all of us fans around the world...PLEASE, send letters to FIFA call them, we should ask for a rematch between Ireland and France and Thieffy Henry should be banned for at least 3 games.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:11 pm | Reply
  162. henry

    yes, let's replay this match

    November 19, 2009 at 2:12 pm | Reply
  163. AJ

    Why is it that Mardona was celebrated for a blatant handball but Henry is vilified?

    In both cases the player "cheats" and the ref gets it wrong, but one is a hand of god and the other is just a cheat? Double standard here.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:13 pm | Reply
  164. Tim Kutsenko

    After this episode I'm 100 % sure that FIFA is corrupted/ Today football is just money/ And its awfull. Hey..we live in XXI century FIFA!
    Wake up

    November 19, 2009 at 2:14 pm | Reply
  165. amponsah francis

    I would like to say football GOD have help france ,we should not blame henry too much and see him as diffrent person,this is not the plan of FIFA as many peoples are saying ,i am suggesting that the match should play again and remove the pain from the Irish.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Reply
  166. Jeff

    Lets all take a deep breath, and a step backward. Henry action was simply that of a reaction which 99.9% of us will not verify before performing that action. If he was given enough time, like 10 secs, to think about it he would not have done it. While in that hyper-active state, and with little or no time to reflect, a lot of action could come into play since it does not involve the loss of a human life. Lets grow up and move ahead rather than turning the whole episode into a case with hate being the outcome.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  167. NateZ

    How many of you play the game? Don't tell me you haven't tried it.
    I agree video replay is a great idea. But seriously a bit too dramatic by all.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Reply
  168. AV

    The idea of using instant replay to "help the official" in international football/soccer is completely preposterous. 1.) It could not have possibly helped in this instance. If we look @ the replay in American football, it's only used AFTER a call has been made (via coach's challenge or booth official). It isn't used to correct/challenge non-calls, nor would anyone want it to be. 2.) Part of the point of football/soccer is that it is non-stop from the beginning of the half to the end. What kind of game will it become if we have players standing around for minutes at a time while refs review every dubious offsides call?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  169. AMIN

    ther you got a vivid example when a player has to be a gentelman, and the referi need to talk more to the linears before the call but NO WAY to the replay that just destroy the soul of this game, imagin!!!!!!???

    November 19, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Reply
  170. favour

    Stop blaming Henry, not his fault at all, meanwhile every body should go to sleep because if FIFA is canceling that match, that would be after world cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  171. Jaime

    When "major" teams are in the brink of being eliminated, somehow lenient referees referee the match in favor of the "right" team. This has happened in the World Cup, and recently in the Conmebol. The referee in the match between Ecuador and Uruguay was so lenient on the Uruguayans, that called everything in their favor. If Ecuador had won, Argentina would probably have been out of the WC or have to go into a play off against Costa Rica for a spot. A World Cup without Argentina would have been a disaster to FIFA because of the $$$$$ Argentina brings. It's sad, but the system is so corrupt in FIFA, that it is hard to believe that some teams actually qualified on their own merit, and more likely on the referees' hand of God.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  172. Pastor Keith

    In a world with out moral absolutes this is what we get. 40 years ago players would be more concerned about doing the honest thing.
    If you cheat and do not get caught is it still cheating?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  173. peter

    soccer is a game of honor if you think video technology is an answer to cheater like Diego and Henry you are trying to bring the game we love into disrepute, reply your action at home over and over but keep in mind the referee decision is always final. Now you all must shut up.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  174. Kevin

    Fact is anyone does whatever they can to win. If the ref doesnt see it then it is their fault. Everybody can be made at Henry but the fact is I am Irish and I would have cheered if it was the other way around. Part of sports is human error, we can't revert to replay on every sport otherwise what is the point of referees. Crap happens and sometimes its happens to people you love and people you hate just stop complaining this is not the first or last bad call that will change a game.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  175. jayo

    yea u cant blame henry for this......

    November 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  176. kruz

    there is plenty of corruption in FIFA,its all about the money for them not the through spirit of football.I'm a fan of football but its a disgrace that FIFA has spoiled through their corrupted leadership,damn

    November 19, 2009 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  177. Milano news

    Michel Platini always like to butt into the business affairs of European footbal clubs with an arrogant air of knowing what's best for football. Let's see his enthusiasm for truly making football better. France cannot go through to the World Cup because of rule infraction at the expense of Ireland . The goal determined the fate of both teams and it cannot stand. Either replay the game or disqualify France altogether. Henry might be praised for admitting the hand ball but he should have done it when it mattered, on the pitch. He should be disqualified from the tournament at the least. He cannot admit after the game to cheating and then not suffer a very severe penalty. I'm already turned off by Champion's League politics. How France is dealt with will determine whether I watch any more football at all.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:26 pm | Reply
  178. ALB

    what is wrong with you idiots. Players have always tried to cheat. It's part of the game. It's the refs job to catch them, and if they don't, oh well. How many times you see fakes in order to get a penalty and there is no contact. I don't see people uprising then. This is football, you do everything to win. Have I been in the states for too long, because it seems that football fans are getting softer and softer. Henry still one of the best. Btw not French, never been to France and not a fan of France.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:27 pm | Reply
  179. Life is Not Always Fair

    Firstly Henry is not a criminal. the ball touched his hand then he CROSSED the ball. The only reason anyone cares he handled the ball is cause the cross resulted in a score. It was not such a huge infraction. He didn't take drugs or dive in the area.

    Secondly who said ireland was going to win the game anyways. 18minutes were left on the clock and penalties were to follow. I Think anything could have happened in this time.

    Third, France had bad calld made against them in history of world cup. In the'82 world cup the German guy broke the French Goal Keeper hand. Not even a free kick given. A dubious penalty call for bulgaria in last game of qualification for '94. This is life and this is football. It is sad but it is reality.

    Fourth...i am sure this is not the only sport where a dubious call has resulted in sadness for one group of fans. So to be honest i doubt this affects the image or fifa or football.

    Fifth, neither France nor Ireland was set to make any impact on the final competition anyways. So...........

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  180. North

    You all need to grow up, so it was slightly controlled by his hand, maybe Ireland's defence should have done a better job in the run up to the incident. Now Ireland are having a go at FIFA for the selection of a referee, how sad, maybe they should rise above it and have some dignity in defeat. This is a prime example of how pathetic some people in this sport are. Play the hand you’re dealt with and just get on with it. If you have to scrap through such games, did either team deserve to be at the world cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:29 pm | Reply
  181. michael

    Henry is a disgrace and FIFA again let down one of the lesser teams.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  182. Nuruddeenms

    whate ever.. the end justify the means... Meet you guys in south Africa!

    November 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  183. jzmack

    Not one of you guys mentioned that the officials also missed the offsides on that goal as well.

    I think that everyone given the opportunity would have shut their mouth during the game about hand balling if you did not get caught for that.

    Seriously, this one is on the officiating crew. They missed two infractions that would have negated the goal.

    There should be a replay in my opinion, but you can't crucify Henry for his honesty after the match. It wasn't his duty to run up to the ref, and say that he handballed there. That is like us driving down the road well over the speed limit and then reporting ourselves to the cops. Nobody would do that.

    If this doesn't show that FIFA needs to implement replay on high stakes games, then it will be a long time before replay is implemented in football/soccer.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  184. Stephan

    I would like to remind everyone that Henry did not actually score the goal. He passed it to Gallas who scored. So why Henry is vilified? Before it reached Henry a French player was off side. We should criticise that player as well as a hand ball and off side are fouls in football. He also openly admits that he hand balled. There are 4 referees whose job it is to see these things.
    Had Ireland scored the several opportunities they had this hand ball would be irrelevant.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Reply
  185. Trevor

    Maradona anyone? The hand of god? It happens.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  186. Tim Mo

    FIFA are promoting 'Fair Play', why don't they practice what they preach and stamp out cheating, this a chance to show their true values? Allow a rematch, that is 'Fair Play'. I hope its not because they earn more money if France qualifies?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  187. Joe Unger

    Don't a lot of the players "cheat"? Tugging on jerseys, falling down and so on? It's the referee's fault.
    Henry had a split second reaction which others would have had also. If he continues to excel as a player, his reputation will be fine except among those who dwell in the past.
    Playing again will not remove the pain from the Irish if they were to lose again.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:33 pm | Reply
  188. Tim

    This is why instant replay and challenges in American Football has become common place. To Err is human but to turn your back on something so blatant well that is another story. FIFA let the teams play again. If France is that superior to Ireland then the outcome will be the same. If not then let Ireland advance.

    It is time to move FIFA into the 21st century and force players to play with their skills and not questionable incidents like this. Until that time comes then FIFA will be a black stain on Europe.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  189. BabbyK

    Boycott Henry's sponsors? That is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. There is not one soccer player in the world playing in World Cup Qualifiers what would have ran to the ref and told him to disallow the goal because he handled the ball. Gimme a break, if you really think that you have NEVER played soccer on a decent level. Unfortunatly handballs going uncalled are part of the game, it just so happens this time it happened in a huge circumstance.

    This in no way is Henry's fault, he reacted to the ball in the game, he didn't get caught, he set up a goal. Thats it, he did not set out with malice in mind people. Now does Ireland have a right to request a replay of the match? Absolutely, but we all know it's not happening.

    ELLAS!!!!! ELLAS!!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  190. peter

    in the interest of the beautiful game and the future integrity of young players,this game should be replayed.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  191. Kim T

    It's anthing but a manlike act, cheating.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  192. Karsten Jonsen

    The current message from FIFA (refusing to use technology for reviews like other sports) is:

    It's okay to cheat if you don't get caught in the act.

    Is that moral better than what Zidane did? Is that the right message to kids around the world?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  193. Man E

    Whats the fuss ol about? Henry aint no cheat he was simply playin football and doin ol he can to help his team win and qualify for the World Cup. There are many instances of referees bein wrong and nothin is said, Sir Alex Ferguson always complains abt referees and people think he wants to control the game abd only when it suits them that when they voice out their concerns.
    Leave Henry alone but instead blame the referee he is the one who robbed Ireland and not the player. Better to be a hero at home and be a villian elsewhere coz pple at home wil always remembr u 4 takin them to the world cup than coming out clean and u get knocked out and u ll be sayin only if i had done it, it wil be late.
    Henry is the Hero here and the ref a villian. We always hear players sayin wil do anythin n even die for ma country so Henry did jus dat, give him a break.

    Long live Henry and wish u more success in South Africa. No reply

    November 19, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  194. France

    We won. that's all
    France has nothing to do with the referee's decision
    Go complain to FIFA
    FRANCE GOES TO SOUTH AFRICA AHHAHAH
    BYE BYE IRELAND. C U IN 4 YEARS :)

    November 19, 2009 at 2:37 pm | Reply
  195. Olaf

    disgraceful!
    Imagine if this happened in the World Cup final?!?!
    FIFA, bring on the video replay...

    November 19, 2009 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  196. Sergio

    Whoever blame Henry doesn't understand soccer. It was obvious David Copperfield can not make Liberty statue vanish, it was a trick!!! That's why he was famous. What Henry did is a undivisible part of soccer, it's a trick!! Referee is suppose to take care tricks doesn't happen, at least often enough to convert a match into a desaster. But tricks are to soccer what ketchup is to french fries. It was 1924, it was first time Uruguayan national team played an international competition, 1924 olympic games. When uruguayan players were training they discovered Yugoeslavian spies on the training site. Next day Uruguay was schedule to play first olympic match against Yugoeslavia. When they realize they were being spied by yugoeslavians, they started to play foolishly, kicking the ball to anywhere, showing they had no idea about the game. When yugoeslavians spies return to their training site they told their coach: "those poor guys had no idea about soccer, we don't know why they came from so far to play like that". Match final: Uruguay 7- Yugoeslavia 0. It was a trick, it was a bluff, did you eat it? Sorry for you. Besides, Uruguay was 1924 and 1928 olympic champion and 1930 and 1950 world champion. Soccer is not square minded, that's why so many people around planet watch it, play it and make it most important thing in their lives. When you understand soccer you would understand 5/6 parts of the planet population, and increasing every day.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  197. guillermo

    the 4th referee should only be using instant replays by the coach of either team. Each team should have, lets just say, 3-5 times able to ask the 4th referee for instant replay, because if it is only up to the referees t call for instant replay soccer games will be up to 4 hours long. Nobody would watch it.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  198. Eduardo Hernandez

    Even if this seem very unfair to Ireland, in my opinion this situation represents a risk, among other, that any football team accept to take when deciding to play a FIFA football match, given the current rules.

    What would it happen if this happen to France instead of Irland? Would any of the irish players go to the referee and tell the truth? I don't think so.

    Good for manager Giovanni Trappatoni that didn't put the blame on Henri. Nevertheless, referees are not perfect; probably someone was blocking his sight, or something.

    If FIFA changes the rules and accept to have instant reviews, then the players would be playing a different game. By now the different teams have accepted the current rules and have to live with their consequences.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  199. Declan

    The fact is that FIFA are always harping on about FAIR PLAY and HENRY blatently cheated,this was not ball to hand this was 2 touch's with the hand to ball..the Video doesn't lie and he is obviously lying himself when he said it was accidental.He also only came out with it because he's trying to do damage limitation and protect his lucrative media contracts...Its also irrelavant whether we the Irish would have done the same I certainly would have critizised our players as much if they had did this...the point is he cheated to assist in scoring the goal and was coincidently assisted by 2 inept Referee's..This "Win at all costs" mentality is what will destroy the game of football as feigning injury,diving and cheating are becoming more common in the beautiful game..:((

    November 19, 2009 at 2:41 pm | Reply
  200. Jeff Zimmerman

    What makes it even worse is if you go to the FIFA site and look at the reporting on the match, the site doesn't even refer to the controversy. Let's just go ahead and support the belief that France was pre-chosen to make the World Cup by being silent on the issue.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  201. Ozeias Rocha Junior

    In many sports we see a group of judges added to technology to help them in difficult decisions. Why, then, FIFA, with the football, insists on staying in the ice age?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:43 pm | Reply
  202. Milano news

    By the way, I like the suggestion of some of the other bloggers. I'm now off Gilette products as long as Henry is on the payroll. Many of us not watching any more football won't get Ireland to the World Cup. But me alone bycotting a sponsors product, and hoping others will follow along, will make Henry a liability rather than an asset to Gilette and any other brand Henry was hoping to sell. No end to alternatives for shaving products. Ireland must be give a fair chance to qualify or FIFA and EUFA will write another shameful chapter for football.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:44 pm | Reply
  203. flaca

    if you were playing for any cup, would u admit the "hand ball" of course not!!!!!- its not Henry's fault but the refs and of course FIFA,
    I hope FIFA will do something about it now!!!! ITs STILL A BEAUTIFUL GAME WITH GREAT AND TALENTED PLAYERS!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  204. Isabel

    It seems by all these comments that this doesn't happen on a daily basis in soccer! I watch soccer every weekend, saturday and sunday during the season and this type of crisis happens every single time. This was a big deal because it was to qualify for S. Africa, but how about when your team looses a cup, a local country cup, such was the case in my team, I was beyond mad, did it make a difference, NO. So why should it make a difference now! What FIFA has to do is get into the present and have the technology we have available today be part of the game. It's going to take some getting used to but we're talking millions of dollars that countries are loosing because of stupid mistakes like these and many others!!! I love soccer, i live soccer, and i want to continue to do so, but would like it to be fair for all.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  205. Bakudababs Farid

    Chill out people and look at the bigger picture...

    if the French had any iota of integrity left they should call for a rematch...they might be able to regain what's left of their bad, corrupt image...just look at what they 've done in Francophone Africa.

    We don't need any video replays in football, we need a strong, honest FIFA to kick some asses...when the air is fouled.

    What more does FIFA want??? The culprit has confessed the crime...throw him out of football and schedule a rematch.

    Refs are human beings..they cannot see every foul committed. The match delegates and linesmen all should be held accountable and banned from ever participating in the game. Let FIFA get serious...

    BF

    November 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  206. Loren

    It is a shame that it happened, but there is no way to say what his intent was, and the responsibility falls on the officials. I support having instant replay in soccer so this wouldn't have happened. Thierry Henry is an honest player and everyone trying to brand him a cheat has no idea what they are talking about.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  207. Marcos Castiel

    Is is strange that FIFA promotes fairplay, but handles the truth so badly. In FIFA website there is not single word about the handball. To FIFA it never happened, to FIFA the truth is not worth a single line or paragraph. This fact is a inside glimpse into FIFA corporate culture.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:46 pm | Reply
  208. Anon

    FIFA needs to move into the 21st Century and get in touch with Technology! An instant replay would help the ref make a correct and accurate decision bringing intergiriy back into this Sport.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  209. nick brooks

    Jerry Rice pushes off a corner in the final moments of a game and Jordan gets away with another charge or carry. These moments are up to the refs to handle, not for the athletes restraint to prevail. Henry should not be found at fault for a horrible call by the officials he was playing hard and doing anything to win. The only story found here is a complete mishap by fifa's officials, yea that's a new one.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  210. Diego from Chile

    Thierry Henry should be fined and banned from at least 3 games from the World Cup.
    I would ban France from the World Cup for being dishonest and cheating the world. However, FIFA would not do that and they shoud at least fine and ban Henry from playing the World Cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:47 pm | Reply
  211. Geoff

    As a former soccer referee, I can tell you that (a) It is IMPOSSIBLE to catch every foul. If it was, then no one would ever cheat and (b) if we did have instant replay, then everytime there was a questionable action, the game would pause and the tape would be looked at. One of the great things about soccer is that it is a relatively short game; instant replay would turn it into american football where 10 minutes gametime takes 30 minutes real time. The real tragedy is that referee ref'd 1000s of games to get there, and will likely not work again because of one call.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  212. David

    FIFA should revise the laws or rules of the game,so that the future the match be replayed.Otherwise I really feel the pain of Irealand

    November 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  213. mike

    umm...so it was a handball, missed call by the refs...that is FUTBOL though! it happens- the title of this article is severely misleading...admits to cheating? really???? sorry to Ireland it was a handball it happens

    November 19, 2009 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  214. HSO

    If let say Robbie Keane did the same thing as Henry did, the goal would not be allowed. Starting from beginning, FIFA and UEFA tried their best to make sure Portugal and France can get through. They changed the rule by the end of the qualifying round (France and Portugal would not finish on the top) by implementing seeding system to make sure France would not face Portugal or Russia.
    I doubt the referee did not see the incident completely but he was not sure so he gave the benefit of doubt to France, FIFA's favorite in that series.
    It is a dark day for France, Ireland, FIFA, UEFA, referee and Henry. No one is winner.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:49 pm | Reply
  215. Sorry

    >Why, then, FIFA, with the football, insists on staying in the ice age?

    because FIFA leaders are dynosaurs ... hopefully they will get replaced someday by youger minds

    November 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  216. slammed

    Soccer needs to grow up and get some video replay. A penalty kick or a hand-ball (in this case) can have such an effect on the game, it is truly pathetic for the sport NOT to have implemented a replay system already. What a joke of a sport.

    It isn't Henry's duty to 'call himself out'. The refs get paid to do their job and if they missed it, its the leagues fault for being so stupid. EITHER WAY, even if it was called, how can you Irish fans be so sure Ireland would have made it anyway? Last I checked, there was still time on the clock and with all sports, there is uncertainty. Whose to say someone on the Irish side wouldn't own goal the team with 0:01 left on the clock? Grow up boys... or I guess soccer fans are children just like its players?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  217. Marcus Unuigbokhai

    Whatever happens in football pitch, blame the referee and not the linesman for he (referee) is the final judge.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  218. Leo

    Get over it folks hand ball happen all the time in football. Country has won the world cup with a handball remember now because it happen to the Irish fifa should get kick out !!!!!!! please. If a player from the Irish side would have done that and it would have been the Irish going to thw world cup half of you guys would be happy so come on. Until they have one more ref down on both goal box or but it reply for goal score only not for the whole game just for gaol score handball is here to stay alway has and alway will.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm | Reply
  219. Ned

    I used to respect Henry and the French national team, not anymore

    November 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  220. Jannik

    the worst review Ive read, then the idiot tries to shift the focus on something completely different "there were still 17 minutes of overtime"...SO?

    November 19, 2009 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  221. Lorelai

    Yes, there are advantages to using video replays, but it would completely change the flow of the game, which is so much of the appeal and what separates soccer from other sports. I understand why incorporating it hasn't been accepted yet.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  222. tom keenan

    Football is a great game but officiating a joke. It is common to see players cheating, whether pulling shirts, tripping, pushing etc... and then those who over dramatize incidental contact trying to draw fouls.

    Send a stiff message to FIFA to reform. Henry is the poster child of the day, but he is hardly the only one. Since FIFA seems pretty dense on this subject, and less likely to consider general public sentiment, pressure on their sponsors is my suggestion. Will boycott FIFA sponsors until they do something to improve officiating.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:54 pm | Reply
  223. Jane

    FIFA get your act together. Replay the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  224. Andrew

    NO NO NO NO NO!
    When will you commentators and bloggers and media officials stop calling for television review and replay of the beautiful game!?!?!?

    For crying out loud! The reason the beautiful game is beautiful is because it is pure. Unlike EVERY OTHER SPORT being played today, a soccer game is played out in the same manner it would have been 50 or 60 years ago, regardless of a TV audience. The beauty of soccer lies in its inherent fallability. No one is perfect, refs, players, fans. But just because I, on my fancy TV watching from a couple time zones away, can see that something happened wrongly, shouldn't affect the game as it happens in live action.

    Please stop calling for the downfall of the last pure team sport.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:57 pm | Reply
  225. Alex

    I have a hard time considering this blatant cheating. No doubt it was a handball, but come on, how often do handballs occur that are never called? More than we'd like to think I'm sure. It's just like refs or umps missing calls in the NFL, NCAA, MLB, whatever sport. There will always be human error because, well, they're human. Get over it, neither of these teams will/would win the World Cup anyway.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  226. Bucky

    You have to ask yourself, is FIFA as corrupt as the UN, or the UN as corrupt as FIFA?

    If France should (only by an Act of God!) win the World Cup, the record book should have as asterisk next to their name.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  227. Andrew

    If this were Mexico vs the United States, and the US scored like that. Mexico would declare war on the United States.

    November 19, 2009 at 2:59 pm | Reply
  228. Elliott

    I only watch soccer during the world cup but after reading I was left wondering how the most popular sport in the world does not have instant replay when so much is on the line

    November 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  229. Jay

    just get over it.... France are the best.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  230. Keith

    Shame on FIFA, shame on the match officials, shame on Henry and shame on France. To reward cheating brings the integrity of the game into question. A replay is the only way to correct this injustice!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  231. wallyg

    It is easy to blame Thierry Henry for the handball, but let's face it, players commit cheap fouls and handballs in every game. We task the referees to call the fouls when they occur. While the referees can't see every foul or rule infringement, they should always catch the obvious- which this was.

    I have never yet seen a player go to a referee and ask for a goal to be taken away. I believe that Henry regrets his own action now more than anyone, but when in the heat of battle a player will do most anything they can to help their team. It is to be expected.

    FIFA is the group that needs to decide how to prevent or at least reduce incidents such as this in the future. I truly believe the best solution, since Henry has since admitted he handled the ball and the powers that be need to right a wrong, is to replay the final minutes of the game starting with a free kick to Ireland where the hand ball occurred.

    Soccer is the world's sport and the world wants to see the deserving team through to the World Cup regardless of it being France or Ireland. I don't believe the referee intentionally ignored the hand ball, but justice should be served.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  232. joze

    FIFA !

    WHERE IS THE FAIR PLAY YOU ALWAYS PREACH AND STRIVE TO PROMOTE ???????????????????

    November 19, 2009 at 3:04 pm | Reply
  233. jreilly

    Soccer is going the way of formula-1 apparently, too much decided by officials, and too much underhanded planning/cheating by the players. Its shameful, I've stopped watching formula-1 and can't say I'm planning on watching much referreeing at the world cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  234. stephen

    this is a joke i am irish and all i want is justice. its so annoyin, all i want is fairplay!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  235. Roo

    I think FIFA dealt poorly with all these matters. Furthermore the way the playoffs were assigned was disgraceful and unfair. As if things were needed to happen in certain ways. I am discouraged to watch the world cup!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  236. Chantal L'H.

    People should be praising Ireland, and manager Trappatoni, for not blaming Henry! It was the ref's fault, and they made a serious error - but they are human, and under a lot of pressure, watching a lot of action and 22 men over around 6000 square meters!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  237. Brian

    It's hard to blame the players for a play like this; the World Cup means so much to them and they have the hopes of millions resting on them. This play was also in a referee blind spot because the defender was inbetween the ref and the ball and the linesman was on the other side of the field with the goalie blocking his view. Its an unfortunate way to lose a game but any soccer player knows that luck is a factor in every game. Ireland had at least four opportunities to put the French away but they missed and paid for it. I'm a US fan and we got robbed by a defensive handball from Germany in 2002, but it was our fault for not capitalizing on opportunities we had in that game. I'm sorry to Irish fans but you'll come to terms with it someday.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  238. The Genius

    TV instant replay has made American Football basically unwatchable. Oh my, what a terrific catch!!!! Now lets sit around 10 minutes while a referee watches TV. Booooooring.

    Football fans (real football, not American football) don't want replay. So the ref misses some calls. Get over it and keep the game moving.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:11 pm | Reply
  239. DJ

    Are people seriously mad at Henry for this?? Isn't it the job of the official to call fouls? That's why they are there. Nobody says anything when other fouls aren't called so don't be mad at Henry for having the instinct to play until he hears a whistle. That's his job, not to police himself on the pitch.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:13 pm | Reply
  240. Girish Nandagudi

    This is so ridiculous! Its high time FIFA opted to use video evidence to overrule referee's decisions. About Henry, as the article says he did the right thing... he would not get a warm welcome back home if he admitted to it on the field. He made a right choice by sticking to his camp!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  241. A. Cejunior

    It was indeed very unfair and it was cheating. France should be stripped from its participation or FIFA will loose any credibility whatsoever. Furthermore, referees should be allowed to review instant replays on large screens to correct their mistakes and players who cheat should receive a red card.
    The game must return to high moral standards. Mr. Blatter and Platini either push up their credibility or they should step down.
    I'm Portuguese so I am entirely unbiased here, and would be in any case. The ref must have a chance to correct his mistake instantly via giant screen video replay in slow motion. Why do we have technologies that are available to the public and not to those who should use them?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:14 pm | Reply
  242. Ssozi

    All sports aims at being as fair as possible. That is why most sports games now complement refereeing with video replays. This is a clear admission that humans have shortcomings in judgements. It should not be a problem for football.
    The only solution to the France-Ireland debate would be a replay. Sadly this is unlikely and France will go to the world cup, not only through the back door, but also with some eggs on their face.
    In athletics, for example, people have lost their medals years after winning them when cheating has been confirmed...how about France where the whole world knows and watched, and the cheating person admitted...and there is still room for a solution?
    Losing is part of sports...but one should lose fairly. For Ireland, that was cruel...and not good for the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  243. Dan

    I find football to be quite amusing. Watching all those grown men take prat fall after prat fall when the defender never even touchs them! They look like over grown two year olds falling down and crying for mommy anytime someone comes near them! Hilarious! Keep it up please! Not enough good physical comedy on the telly these days!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Reply
  244. Wale

    This is simply a disgrace to football. Henry himself is a bigger disgrace – so he's admiting his wrong doing so why cheat in the first place. So what he's saying it is ok to cheat in so long you are not caught : very nauseating stuff!!!.

    Anyway, I have always known there is a conspiracy about football: the teams that qualifies, the fixtures etc. It is all set up such that FIFA, host country etc smile to the bank at the detriment of fans who believe it all. For me Ireland were the morale winner and with Shay Given in goal and with his exploits with penalties (and the fact that the French were in front of their home crowd) Ireland would have won the penalty shoot out. Who says they wouldn't have won it in the extra time anyway in scoring the goal.

    In any case, SHAME ON YOU FIFA, SHAME ON YOU SEPP BLATTER, SHAME ON YOU MICHELE PLATINI AND SHAME ON YOU THIERY HENRY. You all suck!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  245. maxence

    Why not use a system like in the NFL? Teams should be able to call on the referee to review the video of a play if they think he's made a wrong decision. If the team is right, the ruling on the field is changed accordingly. If not, they lose a substitution (like time-outs in the NFL). Teams would think twice before calling a video review.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  246. steveh

    Henry lost all my respect..im slowly losing respect for the whole sport to be honest..

    November 19, 2009 at 3:17 pm | Reply
  247. Ciaran

    This is a black day for football.

    FIFA and its leader Sepp Blatter must listen to reason and restage this match at a neutral venue!

    It is time for video footage to be introduced!

    Let's start a petition!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  248. John Beshoff

    whilst the initial sympathy is with the gallant Irish team,history will judge Thierry Henry to be the biggest loser in this encounter,a truly great and gifted soccer player will be tarnished by this uncharacteristic error.Both the fans and the player,and not least the Irish team(and french counterparts) deserve a more mature and measured response from FIFA.slan leat.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  249. Ssozi

    A replay is the only thing that can bring a halt to all this debate and restore the game's integrity. FUFA should swallow their pride, and, for once cause a replay. The whole world saw the "cruel hand".

    November 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  250. Olaoluwa

    The argument that FIFA will have to give every backyard and school field a camera for instant replays is quite foolish and convoluted.Every professional sport(tennis,athletics,baseball,swimming,american football...i could go on forever) except soccer uses instant replay.And as far as I am aware,their international bodies do not require their amateur counterpart to have this video technology.And this does not reduce enthusiasm for the sport.Nor does it remove the intrigue associated with live games.The stakes are still the same! It's all about winning.And if you don't have a fair chance at such a high level,it's atrocious and unfair.There is nothing pure about the ability to cheat and admit it and then blame it on the ref and instinct.If it was so pure,why are the french not so jubilant?You should watch Henry's interview.He was obviously ashamed of what he did.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  251. kunbi

    Every player is taught from the first time they step on the pitch that you play to the ref's whistle. This is football. Everyone who has ever played or watched a game knows this. Ref's missing calls or calling fouls where none where made, this is all part of the game. I've played since I could walk and for better or worse this is the beautiful game and I love it.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  252. Guy

    That was a logical analysis of this event. Eventrough i support the French nation team i still we must take the example of rugby and 1. Stop the time when there is no game going on and 2. Alow the refree to see a replay when there is doubt. In the game

    November 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  253. Diego Brittto

    I don't think football needs any interference from instant replay. It will slow the game down and point it in the BORING direction like other sports that use it.

    Besides, that is the beauty of the sport, the controversies that originate because of human error from the point of view of the referee.

    This is what fuels the passion of the sport, outcomese for fans to argue about. Sometimes you're the cheater and sometimes you get cheated on. I love this game!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  254. Dusan

    I First of all cheaters never prosper and France will never prosper from there cheating, I am horrified at Henry how in my eyes has fallen way down in to the gutter how there he try and play down his cheating hand ball. He did it to cheat and he is a no-good cheater and I for one will boo him if I go to any of his games and I hope he never plays for Barcelona or France again and that his career goes down the drain. What he did was UN sports like and is just a crime. If any of us stole from any firm we would be fired but what he gets is a World Cup experience, that cheating liers. It all comes down to a simple thing that we now in the modern world are teaching are kids that cheaters do prosper and they prosper well. So I don't know any more what the world is came to but it's not good

    November 19, 2009 at 3:21 pm | Reply
  255. Recesvinto

    What can be expected from one of the most corrupt entities in the world. FIFA' s record on shaddy contracts speaks for itself.
    Henry should be banned for minimum one year and goal to be null.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  256. Colby

    fans can not blame henry for the loss ireland took. It is the officiating crews job to catch blatant fouls and borderline fouls. I play the sport frequently and sometimes your body mistakenly reacts with a hand, a knee jerk reaction if you will. Yes it was against the rules but i don't believe it was complete intentional, as in, i don't believe henry thought "the only way i can stop the ball is with my hand, i have to try to sneak it past the refs". Blame the system and/or the refs, but also recognize they are not perfect and no officiating crew in any sport is. And for the record, i am neither an Ireland fan nor a French fan.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  257. Brendan

    What about the kids, FIFA endorses them to cheat to win, what a great message to send them! how do parents explain that...Bad day for soccer...

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  258. DAMO

    YO FOLKS,THERE SHOULD BE A REPLAY,AS SANCTION BY FIFA IN THE LATE NINETIES WITH ANOTHER DUBIOUS GAME,
    BUT D REMONSTRATIONS WILL FALL ON DEAF EARS,HENRY ,or should i say H-ANRY,SHOULD CALL FOR A REPLAY,IF NOT ALL CREDIBILITY IS GONE OUT OF THE GAME FOR ME,
    RULES ARE THERE TO KEEP ORDER,WHERE IS THE ORDER?
    SEPP BLATTER WERE ARE U HIDING NOW,MICHEL PLATINI WERE AREU HIDING NOW,STEPHEN IRELAND WERE ARE U HIDING NOW,UR BOYS GOT A WHIPPING

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  259. Jack goff

    Is no surprise that Henry did this, it was just 3 years ago at the last world cup that Henry went down holding his face after a challenge, but the challenge was across his chest and not his face!! He shrugged it off then and claimed it was just instinct, i just hope this isnt as easily forgotten!! As for Ireland.... well, they and the Scottish have always adored Maradonna for his "hand of God" in 86 against the English, wonder if they still do? Yeah probably!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  260. olayinka ogundipe

    This is a shameful act on the part Thiery Henry. Replay showed that it was intentional and Henry knew what he was doing. However for the sake of integrity and fairplay, i think the French FA should request for a replay because it is the right thing to do......They need to qualify with dignity ....

    November 19, 2009 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  261. HL

    FACT

    THIS WAS BLATANT HAND BALL

    FACT

    IT WAS DONE ON PURPOSE TO GIVE AN ADVANTAGE

    FACT

    THIS ADVANTAGE IS TOO SIGNIFICANT TO BE IGNORED

    FACT

    THERE SHOULD BE A PENALTY SHOOT OUT OR A REPLAY

    November 19, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  262. Victor

    I'm ashamed of football.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:25 pm | Reply
  263. John O'K

    FIFA has multiple black eyes, this is just the final straw! First of all, the fairness of the pairings should be looked at. FRANCE, RUSSIA, PORTUGAL, and GREECE all paired against the smaller European teams?!? Obviously, more money comes from having Portugal (Ronaldo), France (Henry), Greece and Russia in the World Cup because more money can be made from the sheer number of fan base and Jersey sales. Nobody is going to buy a UKRAINE jersey who is not from that country. FIFA assumed, hoped, and prayed all the small countries would lose. There plan would have worked had not SLOVENIA defeated the RUSSIA team!!! GO SLOVENIA!

    Second, the handball was allowed not too long after RUSSIA had been eliminated...anybody think FIFA might have sent a message saying, "France will not be eliminated."

    Third, you have the handball seen around the world...SHAME.

    My heart goes out to the Irish team. The World Cup will be less of a competition without them.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  264. Martin

    Its part of football...stuff like this happens...relax

    November 19, 2009 at 3:26 pm | Reply
  265. seun sanni

    he should be banned from going to the world-cup ,ultimatley france should be banned as well

    November 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  266. Mike

    Love how everyone is "LOSING ALL RESPECT FOR HENRY"

    You stupid losers. It's a handball, he didnt kill anyone and he admitted he did it. What the hell do you want him to do?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  267. Dusan

    FIFA dose what they want they made a new rule for playoff draw and they seed teams as they want just so the biger countrys can do better and little ones get abused.It made it easy for France to do good when to of the presidents UEFA and FIFA are franch. So I am not suprised thet France can play with hands just so they get to the World Cup.I am form South Africa and I will booo france when they get here and specialy Henry the cheat

    November 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  268. Robert

    Quite simply put, Ireland was robbed of a world cup birth by poor officiating. Glad to see that it's not only an issue in CONCACAF. I'm a fan of the Canadian national team and every four years we get screwed over by FIFA refs on phantom hand ball calls, unexplainable red cards, and opposing players diving in the penalty area when there's no Canadian players around them only to be given game deciding penalty kicks. Instant replay is used in several sports around the world (hockey, baseball, north american football, etc) with little to no effect on the pace of the game. It's time soccer gets into the 21st century and implement some sort of instant replay system for disputed calls.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:28 pm | Reply
  269. messi108

    The obvious solution is instant replay and for the sake of a flowing game, a team should be allowed a limited number of challenges per half, just like in tennis.

    To those that write that such technology won't be available for recreational soccer or minor leagues soccer in some countries – a lot of soccer today is played with just one ref and not three or no ref at all. It's natural that as stakes and visibility go up, so should the means to ensure the game is fair.

    As to FIFA – I think everyone already said it in this forum: just get lost. You are useless. Oh – and take your Coca Cola world ranking with you.

    (I'm a depressed fan of Argentina – our own hand of God clown should also retire, sooner the better)

    November 19, 2009 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  270. Jose Saltos

    I saw the ball being controlled with the help of the hand by Henry.
    It is very bad for Ireland,and to certain point unjust.But, it was the
    Referee and his assistants duty. to spot it. Also, I feel sorry for Ireland's coach he is one of my favorites idols when he played
    soccer . But I am against replays to over rule the referee's decisions
    because the possible human errors is one of the reasons what
    make football so exciting and different from other sports
    Jose Saltos, from Rochester, NY.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  271. Mike

    ok it was not fair at all ! I agree.

    One question : is this handball different from a scorer diving in front of the goalkeeper or from a diffender grabbing the shirt of an attacker so that he cannot kick the ball ???

    the result is the same : the goal is not valid.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  272. Rex Patel

    This just sucks!! I didn't want France to be in the World cup anyway! now this!! It's totally the Ref's fault. Henry was also cheating but I think he was just carried away – similar to what Zidane did in the last world cup. FRANCE SUCKS!!!!!

    FIFA – WAKE UP!!!! GET A SYSTEM LIKE NFL REPLAY

    November 19, 2009 at 3:30 pm | Reply
  273. Olaoluwa

    Besides what's the pont of having tvs and camera on the pitch in the first place?If we really want to make soccer interesting,we should get rid of cameras entirely.THAT would be fun!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  274. John

    "Your crying over a soccer game. People are dying all over the world and your concerned with whether or not some loser used his hands."

    You're complaining on a forum. People are dying all over the world and you're concerned with people voicing their frustrations.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  275. ALDO

    You people need to get over it! It happens. It doesnt take anything away from Thierry or the game. If you're that effected by what happened please stop watching futbol. Your the person at the bar rambling about instant replay and all that nonsense that I look at and just shake my head in disgust. Thierry is one of the best players and this momment doesnt define him. Btw Im not French Im just a fan of the beautiful game. It became the beautiful with all its faults and will continue to be without replays!

    November 19, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  276. Jose Silva

    SHAME ON FIFA.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  277. Philippe-Olivier

    I watch the game live on tv yesterday in Paris and I have to say I feel bad for the Irish fans. But this is life sometimes unfair. A great act of honesty and respect would have been if Henry had went to the ref. He would have made a sign of fairplay. But he didn't, it takes a lot of courages which he doesn't have apparently, he is not the leader which the French national team needs.

    I think that in soccer nowadays everything is manipluated, politics, money and corruption are involved!

    PS: Btw why is Africa only presented with six teams at the Worldcup and Europe with 13?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  278. Sorry

    i don't understand why FIFA would not call for a replay. it's only benefit. More money for the FIFA with a new match and more "fair play" and fun for football fans.
    Henry admitted there was a fault. so nothing absolutely nothing prevents FIFA from requesting a replay of the match except stupidity.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  279. Trevor Brooks

    What's done is done!! However, surely between FIFA & The World Cup Organizing Committee, they should be able to issue at least one "Wild Card" (as is done for most Olympic Sports!)....That is, I strongly believe that issuing a "Wild Card" to allow Ireland to take part in the 2010 World Cup, would be a welcomed and deserving gesture by the powers that be!
    Trevor Brooks, Barbados

    November 19, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  280. Jaimon

    I completely understand why the ref didn't see the hand ball. I also do not want instant replays in futball as they would ruin the flow of the game. However, when an event like this happens the goal should be disallowed or the match should be replayed upon review.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  281. Ben Reid

    I don't think we can blame Henri on this one. It obviously was a handball, but i have never ever seen a player run to the ref and say they are guilty, that is ridiculous. It is all on the ref's and FIFA. extremely disappointing to say the least.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  282. John

    Cameron27 – no need to say sorry for your English, you did very well indeed.
    However..'Stop saying that France cheated. Henry tried something and he succeeded'
    He did something illegal in the game, and so he cheated. Because he got away with it, does not mean he did not cheat.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  283. madeinfrance

    As a french I am disgust the way we qualified for the World cup.
    A lot a french people think the same, we do not deserve to go to south Africa and the Irish have been robbed.
    We like good football, sportmanship and yesterday was one of the most awfull display I saw from France.

    I love Henry, I followed him since over 10 years but yesterday he made one the worst choice of his footbalistic career.
    As a capitain of the french team, he represent us, represent his country and what happened yesterday it s not what France he s about.

    Like I said a lot of french feel sad about what was lost yesterday, our pride is hurt and the team will go nowhere from this.

    A sad and upset frenchy

    November 19, 2009 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  284. HOOPS

    IRELAND WAS ROBBED. that being said i don't fault Henry for not "owning up" to the handball, that goal is your country's ticket to the cup, NO ONE is going to jeopardize their country's chance to make it to SA. The ref isn't truly to blame either, up till that point he'd managed a heated contest as fairly and judiciously as possible. The linesman failed terribly, not only was the off sides not called (both Henry and Gallas were in an offsides position when the ball was originally delivered) but the linesman failed to see the handball (twice) on the touch line. The ref was in a poor position to see the play, his angle was wrong but again he can't be everywhere at once and needs to rely on his assistants in cases as this. I'm disgusted by the result but it is football and these things happen, you just truly wish and pray that this doesn't happen in games of this magnitude.

    as for instant replay i'm all for it in determining whether or not a goal should stand, but that is the only instance in which it should be implemented. goals are crucial, and as illustrated, game deciding and all efforts should be made to make sure that the proper calls are made in determining their validity.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  285. Mike G.

    If you're going to insult or be angry with anyone, be upset with the referee.

    Anybody who is calling Henry a cheat because he did not run up to an official and say "I touched the ball with my hand back there" obviously has never played the game themselves. You cannot honestly tell me that in the flow of the game you would do the same. Until the whistle blows, you play through...to simply stop what you were doing to tell the ref he missed a handball would put you and your team at a competitive disadvantage.

    Further, even if you did tell the official, its not like he can stop the game, go back, and do it over. If you told him about a handball he missed well, he missed it, the call would never be changed at that point.

    To call Henry a cheat is idiotic. Anyone who has played the game knows that sometimes handballs are missed by the referees. It happens. Handballs occur all the time accidently and until you hear a whistle, it is still in play.

    Get real people....we should Laud Henry for being honest about it. To say he's a cheat or classless is just ignorant. He is a class act and probably feels awful that Ireland missed out this way...but any soccer player would have done the same in his shoes. If the sides were reversed Ireland would have done the same.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  286. pde

    I grew up an avid KC Royals fan. 1985 they finally win the World Series. Jorge Orta...game 6...KC is down 3-2 in the series...St. Louis needs just a couple more outs to win the whole thing...Ump blows easy call at first base...KC rallies...next day they win game 7..........24 years later and that blown call is the most prominent memory I have of the series, indeed of all the KC games I've every watched...France, your trip to South Africa will be hollow.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  287. Rick

    Keep in mind the recent college women soccer players who has a video of all the times she punches, kicks and pulled hair of her opponents in matches that the officials missed. In the soccer world the weakness of the referee is the alkalis heel for the sport. Even though they now have four referee in the match, one center, two linesmen, and the fourth official, each able to communicate to each other through hand signal and radios they still seam to miss the important fouls. The truth of the matter is that Soccer as a brand need the right teams to win and the referee is a man to make sure that happens. Who do you think is going to send more fans to Africa for the world cup, Ireland or France?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  288. eric

    I can't believe fans are complaining about this. I'm a casual football fan, enjoy it when I'm overseas. I wince whenever I see the flopping and the drama they players create with they're barely touched, flailing about trying to get the ref's attention when it's all just for show. Why is this any different?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  289. RAHIM

    this is all in the game... an error was committed... but neither umpire nor lineman noticed it... video replay is not introduced by FIFA... they can do one thing... replay may be conducted... will you FIFA?

    November 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  290. Gov

    The whole flow of football would be ruined by something like instant replay. This isn't like American football where you just stop the game and look over a replay for half an hour and then make a call. Just imagine what instant replay would do to the flow of the game. So many plays would come back, a push here, a chop at the ankles there, a bunch of dives, who did the ball go off last before it went over the line would be subject to review. All of those happen like every other play in football.

    I see the lack of technology in football as a plus. I believe that football was never meant to have something like instant replay. It is a better sport for having human judges making human calls. Which might mean some mistakes here and there. But that only makes the game that much more interesting. It might be frustrating at a point like this, but at least we aren't stuck calling every other play back... Part of the game is seeing just how much you can get away with.

    I don't like or condone cheating, but that doesn't mean i have to want to introduce something to the game that could ruin the game as we know it just to stop a few cheaters.

    You can't really blame Henry for the Irish being knocked out. He tried to do as much as he possibly could for his team. The person at blame for this is the ref that didn't manage to catch it. And refs missing calls is just a part of the game. A part that if your going to play the game you should be prepared for. So better luck next time all you Irish folks, maybe you'll get a better ref next time.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:44 pm | Reply
  291. Kanz

    France is an awesome team, but what Henry did was cheating, plain and simple. It does seem to be the referee's fault, but he is only human. But frankly, FIFA's reluctance to use replays to assist referees is unjustifiable. The bottom line seems to be that FIFA absurd practice of not using replays has resulted in this mess, its their fault in the end and they should be ashamed of it.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  292. R J

    Why is everybody blaming Henry? Its World Cup remember? Every footballer wants to be there by hook or by crook. All football players cheat on the pitch at one time or the other, it just depends on their luck. Some get away with it some don't. Henry got away with his, so be it. Ireland should try their luck next time. Henry remains a good player no matter what anyone thinks. You don't just use your feet but your brain. Besides it looks to me like it was just a reflex action. The blame should be on the decision makers not Henry.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:46 pm | Reply
  293. Jay

    LOLOLOLOLOL – The Irish would have only messed up the WC with thier pathetic and negative style of soccer. They are not and have never been a big team.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  294. shadysider

    ANyone spouting that self-righteous intolerance never played competitive soccer. The ref is responsible for calling penalties. I've seen maybe two or three instances where a player acknowledged a penalty should have been called on himself and kicked the ball out of bounds, but that almost never happens. And do we expect a soccer player to acknowledge a penalty on himself during play when many soccer players are willing to dive to get a false penalty called on the other team? I'm looking at you Christiano Ronaldo.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  295. NAS

    I believe that the game was just ok. France had a penalty earlier in the game that was not awarded. So if you have to complain about FIFA, do not do it because of just the goal. I am glad you are now interested in the irregularities attached to the rules of soccer but to be frank, not seeing it at all is part of the game. If we have to complain then we will complain about all the decisions the referee made.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  296. Bob

    FIFA and UEFA suck. Smaller country nations and smaller club teams have no chance to play at higher level because they would not bring in $$$$$$$$. Championship League format was changed about 17 years ago to favor bigger clubs. Now we see the results: UEFA generates more cash than ever before. Smaller team clubs are disappearing. And so smaller national teams. This is what Puskas used to say: small money, small football. big money, big football.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  297. Deb

    And I thought football is the greatest sport! Henry – you were a idol for young footballers throughout the world – not only france. You let every one down. From this day onwards you will always repent this. And FIFA – if you are for football and not for money – play those 17 minutes again between the two teams and let it be a fair result.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  298. George

    And while FIFA is moving to correct this obvious anomaly, it should also consider suspending a player who commits a professional foul that results in the injured player having to leave the field of play. This suspension should be for the duration of the time the injured player is off the field of play.
    george

    November 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  299. Brian

    Ireland were robbed, played better and deserved to win. REMATCH is deserved – it's happened before.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  300. Judy

    Demand a replay! It was a complete travesty.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  301. big b

    Listen, in the heat of the game things happen it is the job of the refs to get to call right. Thats what they get paid to do , if they miss it its their fault not the players. But yes integrity lies within the player to play by the rules. In a perfect world there would be no refs to call the game but we dont live in a perfect world so i commend the guy for atleast owning up to what he did.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  302. Olaoluwa

    @ Gov.
    BS. The game does not stop for half an hour in American football for video replays.It takes seconds. How would the flow of soccer be disrupted any different from how it is disrupted by fouls,free kicks,goal kicks,penalties and throw-ins? Every team would have a limited number of calls that the captain would use at his discretion. If you had just 5 calls for the game,you would use them wisely.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  303. Teresa

    I think the french supporters also got robbed ...... of their pride in their team.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  304. Marco

    Blatter why don't you quit? You just want to fill your fat checkbook huh? Football hasn't changed at all in 50 years... only the ridiculous salaries.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  305. Mick dog

    Whoever thinks Henry is to blame is a moron. Hand balls are a way of the sport. Just because the referee missed the call, this shouldn't tarnish the reputation of Henry. He is just playing the game. The referee should be fired or maybe they need more refs on the field. Remember Maradona's handball in the world cup, nobody blamed him.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  306. Mike

    I saw the Replay's last night and there is no reason that this should not have been reviewed and the goal stripped off France. I know i might seem crazy but there is still chance for FIFA to remedy this robbery.

    Let me ask this: If a robbery is caught on tape would you prosecute the robber after the fact or not ? Use the DAMN TECHNOLOGY.

    Thierry Henry is the Diego Maradona of this Era. Not the skills of Diego but the handball action. I feel bad for Irish fans who on the world stage were robbed by french cheaters. Thierry Henry should have come out clean and saved France the shame. This was no accidental handball. He should know better that Soccer is played with your legs not hands.

    It is sick to see that nothing in Soccer has changed since last many decades and FIFA is hanging on its guns that they wont make the game more fair just because it might cause delays. Why do they stop the game when a player get injured, let the game go on after all you dont want to slow down the game. Why do they delay the game when they have to card a player let the game go on. Damn it you are slowing the game down. Why cant they pause the game for just a little bit and look at the damn replay when a goalie is indicating that this was a hand ball.

    Bad officiating should not get unpunished. After seeing the replays the officials and FIFA should be ashamed of their performance and reasons for not using the Technology when other sports use it. Poor Exhibition and Bad name to such a fine game is conducted and permitted by organizations such as FIFA and they expect us to watch World Cup in South Africa. Give me a break – that is how you loose sports spectators. I rather watch sports where the games are called fair and square and trust me there are many other sports that are called fair and won’t boil your blood. This is ridiculus….

    November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  307. Greg

    Now that Mr Henry has the "Dunk of Death" sorted can we expect him

    to try out for the USA Basketball......Dream Team.......

    History is about to weigh heavy on Henry , French FA, ...and FIFA

    shoulders...I hope they all have the breeding to be Honorable ?

    and do the right thing, ...a replay, or let Ireland through to SA.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Reply
  308. Danny Boy

    I am an American of Irish heritage. Irish anger should be directed at FIFA and their refusal to provide technological help to the refs. The refs didn't see it, that's too bad. Don't blame Henry or impugn his integrity. Has he done this many times before? Is there a pattern of dishonesty? No. Adrenaline takes over at times and one does what one must. This was not a scheme but an instinctive act, in real time and at speed. Why didn't Ireland, the side with more quality looks and opportunities yesterday, seal the deal in regular full time? That is worth some RAGE in my opinion.

    November 19, 2009 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  309. francois

    The nature of football is such that it does not endear itself to fairplay, don't blame Henry, any other professional footballer would have done the same as him in those circumstances,blame FIFA for not applying
    technology which has served its purpose in tennis and rugby alike, lets move forward to a new era and penalise those that cheat by using the the camera and referees that can decide on the spot..

    November 19, 2009 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  310. freeman

    it's quit un fortunate to see this kind of traind on a raputed succer icons
    like henri-i'm full blown friench but i can't support this un rolly decision to let france qualify in espence of ireland just like that it will be a total disasted in world succer governing body if this anomalice is not corrected......fifa should act face

    November 19, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  311. kingsley

    I love football and i love my teams to the end! i am a liver pool lover and i pay my monthly cable subscrotion just to follow liverpool and barcelona! i am always unconsolable when we lose and more so when we lose unjustly!

    This Ireland and France game problem....i was motified at the incident, and as much as i would love to have only correct decision takenly at all time, we must not forget that it's only a game. We cry, we laugh, we vilify, we even transfer aggression and happiness consequent on the outcome of a game. But in the end, it's only game....something we do to feel happy, please lets not lose this basic.

    Henry did wrong, he also knows he did – but don't forget it was an instant action devoid of forethought. and he has confessed his wrong doing, but the it is still the refere's error that he failed to see it. Lets not sacrifice this young man over this- after all, it's just a game.

    Please lets have fun together in South Africa- By the way, i am an african. And you can't possibly begin to imagine what joy football brings us.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  312. rachel

    This may be against the grain or unpopular but there is a certain purest in me that says what happens on the field stays on the field that whole world with all of its technology has inflitrated so many sports but soccer (or football) is soccer its still just humans on grass kicking a ball. And that yes its done in mulitmillion dollar stadiums with combined multi-billion dollar broadcasting deals watching them and their every move but its in the end is still a buch of humans kicking a ball just like what is going on at my local park where there are no instant replays or youtube clips, part of the mystique or uniquiness is that what happens happens peirod.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  313. adam

    There are limits what human eye can see. In this age when technology is so easily accessible, FIFA should seriously look at considering replays for such controversial decisions. If not, at least they should put in a clause to penalize the player from all FIFA events, say a ban from all competitive football games for 1 to 2 years. How different is an intentional hand ball from a dope test failure?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  314. Steve

    I can't blame Henry for what he did, and this isn't the first time something like this has happened in soccer. The fact is it was a no risk situation. The ball was headed out of bounds, so Henry could have let it go, and given a goal kick to Ireland, or play a hand ball and hope the refs missed it. There was no risk playing the handball, since it world have just awarded a free kick to Ireland, basically the same as a goal kick.

    To stop things like this from happening perhaps a rule change is in order. If you are on defense and commit a hand ball in the box, I penalty is awarded to the offensive team. Perhaps awarding the defense a penalty kick for an offensive hand ball in the box would increase the risk enough that attempting a play like Henry's wouldn't be worth it.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  315. SPR

    I don't blame Henri; he was the beneficiary of the current rules and system of football which leaves decisions open to human error. If Ireland was on the opposite end of this deal they wouldn't be upset. I don't even blame the on field officials; with only three officials to judge so many players on so big of a pitch errors will be made. The officials are doing the best they can under an imperfect system. Rather I blame FIFA. They are a disgrace. In an age of instant video review they should implement a 4th sideline video joudge who can communicate with all three on field officials to overturn missed yet blatant infractions made during a game or at least on goals. Shame on FIFA. I'm disgusted.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  316. Thomas VanGogh

    I have grown tired of all this FIFA bashing. There are a number of rules I would like to see changed, such as substitution limits, but using technology essentially skewers the game I have grown up with. FIFA has to deal with international politics, fraud, player and official greed, hooliganism, the intrusion of technology and any number of other issues. I think it's time we all stepped back and realized that worrying about a handball is probably way down their list of priorities, and that's the way it should be. In this game, my allegiances were all with the Irish... but I understand one thing that many others are apparently trying to deny: this is just the way life goes sometimes. What Henry "did" wasn't any worse than a hundred international players do on any given weekend. The only reason there's so much squawking about it is the effect on qualifying. Otherwise, it would have been a forgotten footnote by next Wednesday. You want to talk about a real intentional European cheat? Pierre Littbarski. And Henry is no Littbarski.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:03 pm | Reply
  317. Alston

    REPLAY THE MATCH!
    This is an absolute joke .. FIFA needs to start acting now!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  318. Julian

    And when Grosso was simulated a penalty to pass Italy in the final round against Australia in WC 2k6, there was no buzz on the planet to say "poor Australian, bad Italian"...

    November 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  319. azpete

    In response to Alex. You invoke Maradonna's Hand of God goal in 1986 and the 1966 final as examples of cheating. While Maradonna clearly cheated, England's controversial goal in the '66 final was not a case of cheating. There was doubt about the ball crossing the goal line; that's an officiating issue, not a case of players cheating.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  320. jenhawk9

    I think the article is incorrect that if Henry had approached the referee to explain his guilt that France would have vilified him. I think France already vilifies him for his conduct. Nobody likes a cheat and nobody likes to win by cheating! I think the match should definitely be replayed or at least a serious look be given to a system of review as this is not the first nor the last controversial call that has and could change history of sports.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  321. Danny

    it is interesting. I went to the FIFA website and its review of this game does not even mention the incident. For them, it is like it never happened:

    "You don't have to say anything. Your actions speak louder than your words" – Chinese proverb

    November 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  322. Julie

    Unbelievable! Ireland robbed by France? What a shame!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:06 pm | Reply
  323. Peter

    France is ashamed of this victory, this needs to be replayed ASAP

    November 19, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  324. mark

    i think in the "FAIR PLAY" of FIFA it should be replayed

    November 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  325. Gov

    Olaoluwa

    "BS. The game does not stop for half an hour in American football for video replays.It takes seconds. How would the flow of soccer be disrupted any different from how it is disrupted by fouls,free kicks,goal kicks,penalties and throw-ins? Every team would have a limited number of calls that the captain would use at his discretion. If you had just 5 calls for the game,you would use them wisely."

    Ok, so not exactly half an hour. Yes i do exagerate when trying to convince people to my side. I know they don't stop for half an hour, however it is not just seconds. When the challenge flag is thrown in american football, it isn't uncommon for the game to stop for 5-10 minutes.

    In football the only time the game stops that long is for an injury. All of those things you mentioned are part of the game and do not stop the flow at all, because not one of those players is just standing around when its happening. Having played football for many years something you learn quickly on is a team that stands and watches is a team that loses. When a freekick or throw-in is happening you aren't just standing around like you would be for a instant replay, your marking your man, getting in position, instructing your team mates, etc.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  326. FIFA is corrupt

    Football (soccer) is the most corrupt sport on the planet thanks to FIFA. I stopped watching the sport when I realized that FIFA not the actual happenings on the field of play determine who goes to the WC. Look at it this way Ireland, maybe FIFA will insure you make it next time since you are obviously paying the price this time.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  327. Bklynbridge

    Has FIFA responded to this incident in any way? replaying the match would be the best resolve.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  328. Ed Tallahassee

    It's the Ref's job to call it. If they don't make the call you can't blame the players.

    I think the NFL has it right where a coach can call for a review of a play.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  329. philgood

    Even if the ref would of refused the goal, like the one that they had already refused in the second half due to a very close offside, who says that Ireland would of won? They still had twenty minutes to react and did not do so. Let's look at the facts, if the whole qualification of Ireland came so close to that goal, then they shouldn't of qualified. Ireland was not robbed, it let itself get robbed...Stop blaming the FIFA and the refs for your loss and have some dignity; lose with your head up high...By the way, soccer is a game where the human error of the ref is part of the game and I don't think the Irish fans would have the same speech if they scored thanks to a handball....

    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  330. SMan

    Actually, football is loosing it's charm as a spectator sports due to the blatant but "missed" fouls; the pathetic "injuries" in the penalty box (and elsewhere); the pointless and pathetic "acting" that players put on that is caught by all cameras and millions of viewers worldwide, but not the appointed officials is turning the sport into a sham.
    Cricket has employed technology to assist in difficult decisions. So have other sport. The bone-headed FIFA and the other venerable, but stupid, football bodies must strive to enter the 21st century or be left behind...

    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  331. Davey Crockett

    First off, let's remember that incidents like this are part of football. Refs err, and sometimes it goes against you or for you, that's part of the game.
    Henry handled the ball, but hey, who is he to call on it. I wouldve done the same.
    A replay system would slow down the game way too much. The beauty of soccer is that it's a flowing, uninterrupted game (save the injuries).
    As well, no one has mentioned all the missed chances Ireland had! Robbie Keane shouldve at least netted 2 more goals, but he choked. Ireland choked. They couldve put it away, and made the whole handbal incident insignificant.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:14 pm | Reply
  332. Tomas

    Hey... It was a frickin sweet goal either way.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:15 pm | Reply
  333. Michael

    Consider me as impartial a person as you will ever get – I am not a big soccer fan and overall would tell you I probably dislike the french in general.

    #1. The referee is the person who who should be blamed and not this player Henry
    #2. Referees make mistakes they are human and poor calls are a part of the game, deal with it.
    #3. To think one player should step forward to the referee is insane – it is a team sport – that decision lies in the hand of the teams coach/manager – in any sport.
    #4. IN an individual sport – Tennis/Golf – the player should take more responsibility for their actions as we see frequently in golf.
    #5. The game is final – you cannot even cosnider replaying the game as a result of a bad call – think of the precedent.
    #6. There is no replay currently permitted – so forget about a retroactive rule.

    Bottom line – is in sports mistakes happen, deal with it, move on and figure out ways to improve so they do not happen again.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  334. Alejo Conejo

    This is not a disgrace for the futbol, this is the futbol, is part of the game, yes, is not fair with Ireland but sometimes this things happen, not by that we have to think in change all the structure of the game, the mean reason is that IS ONLY A GAME, the people have to remember that, this is not politics or the cancer's cure, its a game and for that have to be imperfect or in another way would not be so funny. I think that Henry did well in recognize the hand that is more moral and is more with the fair play that other behavior in the field. Have to be replay the match? maybe, but is a desperate measure by teams that didn't makes his task in the correspondent time and now are desperate like scholars that are losing the year and want to recover it in the last day of classes, anyway this will be another great anecdote in the history of this game that we all love so much.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  335. Michael

    I generally support replay in most sports but not for soccer. Other sports have (too) frequent, natural stoppages of play when replay can be viewed. Soccer is one continuous, flowing sport.

    A better question is why are there only 3 officials for such a large playing area? Couldn't we put an extra official on each sideline, or one along the back line?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  336. Michael in Delafield

    Ireland was robbed. The creditability of the FIFA and the WC becomes laughable.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  337. Passion for the Game

    It is funny to see the comments above from people that have really no clue about the sport. So we are going to persecute Henry for a foul, which he as publicly owned up to and not allow him to play in the world cup? So what about all the other guys who committed fouls in that game that were not called? If they were called, maybe some of the free kicks would have set up goal scoring opportunities. So lets ban those players too. How about the calls that the referees did make on players that dove or used trickery to gain the call resulting in a stoppage of play. We have to ban them too. Then what about those players who instead of just getting a foul called against them, should have received cards? Well those cards can add up over time. And of course, we can not just apply this thought to this game. We have to look at every qualifying game and do the same thing.

    Like any sport, the game has officials to apply the rules. You get great referees. You get crap referees. Unfortuantely, good or bad, they can not see everything. AR's are watching for the offside so really, there referee has to watch the whole pitch and with the players and ball constantly moving, they simply can not be in the best position to make the right call every time.

    Part of the game is the factor of human error. Players make mistakes all the time which results in turn overs and possible good goal scoring opporutunities and great goals. But at least when a player makes a mistake, there are 10 team mates there to hopefully help him out. The referee only has 3 other team mates out there so his odds of getting that assistance is a lot less.

    FIFA needs to look at the changing dynamics of the game and how the Laws of the Game needs to be applied. Teams are using technology to train and better their players. Soccer equipment companies are using technolog to better their product. Yet FIFA lags behind in using technology to apply their motto, "FAIR PLAY". Yes we can not be stopping the game every break for a replay on a foul or if a card should be issued or not but simply uses like whether or not the ball crossed the line for a goal or is there a question whether or not that goal was scored without an infringement on the Laws of the Game will bring some crediability, fans, and love back to the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  338. rezart

    Well in fotball, this happends all the time.. but just because the stage at which this took place makes it much bigger than it actually is. The bottom line, France goes to the WC and Eire does not. But, this will damage Thierry Henry's legacy as one of the most prolific strikers. Big mistake, dude!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  339. Shane O'Keeffe

    I am Irish living in Chicago. All I have to say is REPLAY!!!!!!Watched the game yesterday and was crushed.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  340. Soccer Fan

    I am extremely amazed by the amount of comments here and everywhere else in the world, there will probably be million more t.v sport channels until the world cup repeating this. Yes it is a shame ( yet who knows in a moment like that even the best can make mistakes no matter how big of a mistake, it is still a mistake ) he was playing for his country and he wanted to give it all. Zidane Butt-Headed Materazzi and got sent off and then he couldn't do penalty kicks and Italy won. It is not fair again, yes the Irish played amazingly throughout their qualifications and they had the upper hand. Yet don't blame the referee nor the player, it is FIFA. Chelsea were denied 2 penalties and got kicked out by Barcelona last year, lots and lots of things are not fair for any one.
    They have millions, they have the technology for God's sakes they went to the moon and beyond, they can't make a stupid technology happen and implement it.
    We keep watching and paying for the sports and they cash out.
    It's time to act.

    FIFA board SHAME ON YOU ( soccer will never be the same )

    November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  341. Brandi Duffy

    "I agree it would have been an astonishing act of sportsmanship if Henry had rushed up to the match official to tell him the truth. There was so much at stake. A World Cup without France, the champions as recently as 1998, would have been unthinkable. And if the goal was ruled out because Henry intervened he would have been vilified in his home country."

    Who wants to make it to the World Cup by blatantly cheating? You will ALWAYS be known for that one play and rightfully so. There is a cheating epidemic in sports and people are getting rewarded for it.

    It's ridiculous and takes away from the talent of hard-working, REAL athletes everywhere.

    I'm embarrassed for him. How sad that they advance as a result of that one play. I hope he is known the rest of his life 'as the guy who cheated'. Pathetic.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  342. jaime

    thank goodness for the henry handball. we get to see the french and all their wonderful talent on display at the cup. we won't have to suffer through at least 3 matches featuring the irish and their incredibly boring style. lets be real here, would you rather watch a rubbish irish side or a potentially beautiful (so long as they get rid of that clown domenech) french side that is loaded with world class talent?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Reply
  343. Ron

    Vidio replay would have corrected this horrible injustice. I have long been a fan of this because it helps make for the correct decision.
    The game most definitly should be replayed & Henry should be banned for minium 3 games. Cheating in any sport will go on until it's corrected.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:22 pm | Reply
  344. alex

    STRANGE: REFEREE DIDN´T SEE ZIDANE´S HEADBUT EITHER, STILL HE GAVE HIM THE RED CARD. NO REPLAY IN THIS CASE EITHER. SO IT IS POSSIBLE TO SENTENCE W/O REPLAY ... RIGHT?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  345. kyle

    national importance? its a game! its a competition to bring countries together in a shared experience of fun and fandom. The game rules are set ahead of time and everyone knows what they are working with. I doubt any other player would have stopped the game to tell the officials they missed a call against them. Get over it and enjoy the rest of the games, cheer for your favorite players on the teams that are playing and stop crying.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  346. John

    fifa should be similar to the U.N ( not the same just similar ) and have representatives from each countrys footballing hiararchy deciding things in a democratic way by voting... its speaks for itself that video and play back technology should be used when called upon in unclear situations like what happend yesterday... fifa are complicating things and i ask the whole football community to unite to make Fifa an more non profit organisation... in my opinion Fifa is a money making machine based in Switzerland who are dictating and controlling things to the sound of there own trumpets... MONEY... "ITS TIME FOR A NEW PRESIDENT AND A CHANGE OF THE GUARD " !!!!!!!! REVOLUTION .. dont let the capatalists ruin this sport!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  347. Jefro

    What's funny is how so many people are knocking Henry for not owning up to using his hands immediately, as if he owed the Irish team his honesty then.

    Sadly, there isn't one damn player in all the game who doesn't fake injury at least sometimes even when they're stripped of the ball properly. Sad to say, but deceiving the referees has become a huge part of the game. Until that somehow changes, expect this sort of 'sportsmanship' to be the norm for the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  348. Michael Sweeney

    Not only did the referees miss not one but two touches of the ball by Henry, they also missed two offside infractions. The first was when the ball was kicked and the second came when the ball was flicked on to Henry. The top competitions need video replay to be introduced immediately. It works perfectly in rugby, it would work even better in soccer.......

    November 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  349. eloigoncalves

    that was robbed IRELAND should be winners henry is a dirty player if i was the reff henry would get a red card for that hand ball

    November 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Reply
  350. Get a clue

    I am guessing every dolt that has responded to this story saying that FIFA needs instant reply and that Henry cheated has never played the game of soccer beyond grade school.

    Hand balls, professional fouls, maybe even a "dirty play" is all part of the game we love. Henry was doing what he was supposed to do – keep playing and get a critical advantage for his team.

    I have played soccer for over 30 years and nobody has ever said "Hey, I had a handball, please blow the whistle". It is just part of the game – and any real soccer player knows it.

    The rest of you need to get real and move on to more important things in your life.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  351. Stephen

    email FIFA asking for replay on their website

    November 19, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  352. Justin

    Referreeing is part of the game. They can not catch everything, and while this is a missed call, how many times do we villify refs for MAKING the decision, and it turns out there was no foul at all? Especially on game deciding PK shots!

    I feel bad for the Ireland fans, but alas... refereeing, bad and good, is part of the game.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:29 pm | Reply
  353. Shane O'Keeffe

    Replay the game

    November 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  354. Jeff

    Are you kidding? I have officiated over 3,500 soccer games in my career, spanning 30+ years, at all levels and all ages. The officials will miss a call – absolutely. The players will try to influence the play – absolutely.

    This will not change. In every soccer game players cheat. Yes, that's a strong word, but how many times do you see the ball go out and the team try to influence the officials decision by pointing their way, or indicating a corner (goal) kick? Oh,and the diving by players? How many times have you seen a penalty kick incorrectly awarded because a player faked a direct kick foul? This happens all the time.

    This time France got away with it. It happens. Next game maybe they are not so lucky. What I do know, is that officials have a way of remembering who dives, who complains all the time, etc. Guess what? You make me look bad, I still have the whistle!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm | Reply
  355. Brad

    Henry isn't a cheat... that kind of thing happens all the time and NO ONE would have admitted to it. Look, if it was a cheap shot (something like the hair pulling incident between BYU and New Mexico) and the refs didn't see it, then I understand the outrage towards Henry, but lets say the ball rolled just barely out of bounds and Henry stopped it and pulled it back in. If the refs missed that one, then is Henry still this terrible person? Look, it's the refs job to call infractions (intentional or not). If they miss the call, then it's on the ref, not Henry.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  356. Sorry

    FIFA ruled out replay according to the Guardian.

    i'll not watch this world cup, where obvious fairplay requests are ruled out

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  357. Sean

    I am an Irish-American for the record. No, Henry is not a "cheat"! No, there should be no introduction of instant replay into Football like is used in the lesser game of American football. I have played Football for over 30 years and have seen my fair share of poor calls by officials but that is just part of the human aspect of the game. I think a better solution to this is to have a multiple game series of matches between teams to determine who advances rather than letting it be decided by a single moment such as this. I think the NHL has it right on that one. If there is corruption in FIFA and its decision-making, then deal with that organization without altering the beautiful game or how it is officiated.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  358. Bill

    I'm not knowledgable in the rules of football, so can someone answer this for me: Was Ireland's #5 use of his hands to pull the French player to the ground preventing him from making a play legal? This is when the ball is coming down to the ground right before Thierry makes his play.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  359. George Bright

    Vividly displays the difference between "other professional sports" and golf.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Reply
  360. Eddie_Tee

    Its a disgrace, Henry wilfully handled the ball. It was not a case of 'ball to hand', this was blatant. Even more astonishing, a french player was in an offside position when the free-kick was taken. What were the officials looking at?? Were they sleeping??

    November 19, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  361. Mike

    I believe that FIFA should absolutely not allow coaches to call for the review of a play in football/soccer. The game is far too fast paced and any potential review could ruin that aspect. Additionally, it always goes both ways, and it just so happens that in this instance it kept a team out of the World Cup. The "Hand of God" has always been a part of football/soccer, and as a player of the game I have been on both sides of the coin with this one. As for the fact that their is review in the NFL, it's different in American Football where there is a lag time between each play.

    All that being said, FIFA needs to educate its refs better on what to do in these instances. As fans, it is our job to pressure the organization into making sure that refs are more vigalent. While FIFA maybe corrupt, they would certainly respond to a boycott or some other demonstration to make sure fairness was enforced. Basically, FIFA is the devil we know and it's better to stick with them and change what we have.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  362. Dan Power

    If it happens, the match should be partially replayed. Not exactly fair to cancel out Ireland goal! Extra-time only seems fair.

    The ref said to the Irish defender Richard Dunne he was "100% certain it was not handball". What do you do with that?

    Important to note – two French players were offside from the free kick, and one of them scored. So 2 offsides, 2 handballs.

    Ireland have officially requested a replay now.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  363. Gregg

    I don't see how this is Henry's fault when he doesn't make the decisions. All he did was play the ball and accept the goal. Anybody who has watched him play over the past 10 years since he moved to Arsenal know he's a world class player, and I don't blame him for wanting to win. I wish him luck for the rest of the season at Barca and in South Africa next summer.

    Lets be serious. Did anyone really want to see Ireland go to South Africa next summer? They would just get stomped out in a group stages anyway. France has far more talent made obvious by having players who play for Man U, Arsenal, Chelsea, Barca, Real Madrid and last year's player of the year in Ligue 1. All they have to do is get their management in order and they'll be back to their winning ways.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  364. Lud

    I am French and I am devastated this morning. What a disgrace... How can we go to the WC like that? I really can not get it. France should definitely offer to replay the game. Our president, our coach, our players should all speak out to replay the game... But this bunch of morons will never dare doing that. I know that it won't make any difference, but I'd like to apologize for my country to all the Irish fans and to all the soccer fans around the world.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  365. kevin

    it shows an awful lack of awareness to blame the player in this situation. Americans, have tons of professional sports, see this type of thing happen all the time. It is up to the refs, not the player.

    Instant replay is the only way to go.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:40 pm | Reply
  366. Steve

    Though I feel bad for Ireland, this was a missed call by the ref. Henry would have been a hero to call it himself, but it's not required. Football does not need televised instant replays. The game is played on the field and that's where the call should stay. For the love of the game let's accept what's happened and drive on.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  367. Ryan

    I don't get it. First FIFA and/or UEFA (whose chairman is French) change the rules at the last minute to "seed" these playoffs, ensuring that France can't meet one of the other 3 best teams, and then they assign an inexperienced ref to the game who is more likely to be influenced by the crowd. Perhaps none of this was intentional, but it certainly seems that way.

    I also don't get why soccer is so resistant to change. Take hockey as an example. Played on a much smaller surface (albeit at a faster pace), several years back they realized that one ref and two linesman could not keep up with the pace of the game and added a second ref. Things have worked better since. Why wouldn't soccer simply add a second referee to mitigate these occurrences? I won't even mention video replay because that would be simply too 20th century (sic) for them, leave that to an enlightened sport like American Football or Rugby!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  368. Alnur

    T Henry is NOT a cheat!! FIFA and Sepp Blater are to blame – bring in "action replay" Video Technology. Besides, what was the Defense doing? Ball watching???
    Remember Zizou's red card in the FINAL!!! That should have been a yellow for BOTH not just ZZ!!
    THe whole World knows FIFA is corrupt to the bone. They don't bring in Video Tech. so they can fix games and make a bundle. We need guys like Beckenbauer, B Charlton, Pele running the show. Not guys like that TnT dude – Warner?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  369. Marco

    Clearly Ireland was cheated out of the Wolrd Cup. If the French have any dignity they should ask for a replay of the match as going to the World Cup under this circumstances is no glory, it is a shame! However, most of the blame lies with the dinosaurs who are in charge at FIFA as these idiots do not want to bring Football into the modern world by refusing to use easily available technology to avoid bad calls that have a direct bearing on the result of the match. Instant replays will not take more than one minute of match time to confirm or revert any referee call thereby not impacting the progress and continuity of the game. Just remember that substitutions take more time than this but they have to take place because they are an integral part of the game. The same should be with video replays. Another and necessary action is to get rid of the od guard at the direction of FIFA and to let the new generations take over. This old guard is the one ultimately to be blamed for such terrible and unjust happenings as what has been done to Ireland in this occasion. So much for the call to fairplay as the ones launching the campaign are the first ones to ignore it.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  370. Mark P

    As a former soccer ref, player and coach, I will tell you that players will get away with whatever they can on the field. Always have. If there was 17 more minutes left to play, then Ireland had their shot at overcoming the obstacle, but failed to do so. Truly good teams know how to do that, that's what champions are made of. The ire (sorry) aimed at Henry is misplaced, it should all be on the refs (who missed the call) and the Irsh players (for not rising to the challenge and tying the game). Games are never 100% fair, no matter what tech you would put into play. I'm sure in their history, Ireland has had a few things go their way to the detriment of their opponent. The Hand Of God story is now a legend, a tale for the ages. This is yet another compelling chapter in the beautiful game's glorious drama. The Irish should have not left their whole World Cup hinge on one goal.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  371. Dloyd

    FIFA should call it a tie and have a shoot out to determine the winner.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  372. Dan Power

    Also: Henry only admitted it after he had changed. It seems likely he watched the replay and decided it was better PR to "admit" what was glaringly obvious. If he had not celebrated like he did, he would have some remaining crumbs of respect, but he was delighted with himself.

    And to then "commiserate" with Richard Dunne? Public relations again. Quickly trying to look like a nice guy after being seen to be a cheat.

    The bottom line, though, is that the linesman had a clear, uninterrupted view of both the offsides and the handballs. He didn't give it becuase FIFA had already indicated the desired result was for France to get through.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:44 pm | Reply
  373. JMV

    Ridiculous to state that because Trap questions the ref it absolves Henry of his cheating.... It was deliberate without question and the fact that the French have qualified via cheating only cheapens the world cup. The journo is correct when he states that there was no guarantee that the Irish would qualify if it went to PKs but what we do know is that the French DID qualify based on cheating so it sort of negates that perspective. What is disappointing is that instead of trying to confront the issue, cheating, we have this particular journo adopting the very same mentality that will ensure that the game does not evolve for the better. Cheating is cheating and no matter what Henry says, FIFA says, or the French FA says, the French are through because they cheated!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  374. Chuks

    I agree with Henry that it’s the referees call. Nigeria lost the under 17 cup on Sunday bcos the referee did not see the ball cross the line.
    A chance for the ref. to view a reply like the American football will be great but until then. This is the law of the game

    November 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  375. Valeriy

    The main point of football is the game itself, not necessarily the result. That's what real football fans looking for – a dynamic, fast, precise, and interesting game. So the occasional missed call does not have the same impact as it would have in other sports, like in baseball where fans are obsessed with various statistics. It's not the end of game.

    The 150-years old tradition was to rely on a referree. The rule was also not to argue with him and that the referrees decision is final. The system is not perfect but neither is a real world. Mistakes occasionally happen and they always will. As long as they are not intentional and not meant to bend the rules fundamentally – they are part of life and sometimes – part of football.

    Changing the rules and changing the traditions will change and deflate the game. Let the traditions stand. Don't introduce any video.

    Plus can you imagine how the flaw of the game would be destroyed if the referree will have to run to the video every time he gets challenged.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:45 pm | Reply
  376. Dave

    It's only a game, not a life and death situation. So an error was made. If it is that important to get it right then the governing authority will take the appropriate action to prevent it from happening again, change the rules, allow replays on a justified challenge after technical review, or better yet just allowing the decison of the official stand and thumb their noses at the fans.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  377. Laura Shay

    I don't really care either way about the outcome of the match but I do strongly believe that Henry should not be blamed or even called a cheat. It is not his responsibility to call an infraction on himself. I guarantee you that some Ireland player in the last year has had a handball which has not been called and it's senseless to blame the player. That's why we have refs. If it were a pickup game and he didn't call his own handball you would be right to call him every name in the book and he'd deserve it. The fact that he came out afterwards and said that it indeed was a handball is already above and beyond his duty. I don't know of any player in any sport who is villified for something such as this. It seems emotion driven but it's misguided. The ref is there to call it, it's the refs responsibility.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  378. kb

    What a statement FIFA could make by demanding the game be replayed in whole or in part (eg. only the extra time session). The latter may not be a practical approach.

    Not to defend the guy, but Henri is in no-mans land on this one. Snap reaction? intended? Only he knows. As much as I love my sport and the history behind it, the passion that goes with it by those who are only followers puts the man at risk if he does the 'right' thing during play and says, "no sir, that was a handball and we should play a free kick from there. Wonder if we would ever get to a point where the response would be Henri immediately picking up an own-goal to even the score, in the vein of how we handle knocking balls out for injury and returning the possession? Too much to ask I'm sure so we live with the flaws in the game that have been around for yrs and yrs and yrs and yrs....

    November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  379. C-Note007

    if Fifa can over rule a 2005 game between Uzbekistan and Bahrain because of a referee error they can do the same against France and Ireland because of Henry's cheating! WE DEMAND A REPLAY!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  380. Dan Power

    PS: Henry's admission was bull. He said he didn't mean to do it.

    He clearly stops it with the first hand ball, then guides it with the second hand ball.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  381. Lowell

    Zidane, Henry, Le France. Superficial beauty lacking grace and honor.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Reply
  382. Matt

    The people i feel the worst for are the Irish players who are nearing the end of their careers. This was their last chance at a world cup final and they played their hearts out during qualifiers to get this far only to be doubly betrayed by FIFA. First the seeding of teams and now being cheated with FIFA standing firmly behind the French.

    By not offering a replay to Ireland FIFA is doing Massive damage to the image of the sport and sport as a whole.

    Wasnt Henry supposed to be a fair play ambassador aswell?

    November 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm | Reply
  383. Mo

    "It wasn't up to Henry to say I touched it with my hand."

    Dixit Giovanni Trapattoni...

    He's got it right... Remember Fabio Grosso against australia...

    Also remember there are many occasions where a voluntary handball is claimed never to have happened IN SPITE OF THE EVIDENCE. In the EURO 2000, a portuguese defender very clearly, on camera, makes a handball and the french are awarded a penalty... During the game, and to this day as ome portuguese posters believe on this very forum, the handball never happened... Did Portugal get banned? no...

    And it is just to avoid mob rule and partisan supporting that the decision rests with the REFEREE, not with us... Henry's hand is deplorable, but it's nothing new... So stop the hipocrisy and move on

    November 19, 2009 at 4:50 pm | Reply
  384. Roy

    In the replays i've seen, in the one second of real time that the handling occured, the referee's angle and the players between him and the ball made it so HE DID NOT SEE IT. Possibily, the assistant on the FAR side may have seen it. Even if a player "turned himself in", the referee couldn't reverse it,becuase he didn't see it. Since, games are decide by a single goal, a manger's challenge may be approriate for actions leading DIRECTLY to a goal like handling or offside.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  385. Quarterjack

    Henry handled and got away with it. Would integrity and fair play dictate that he should own up immediately after it happened, erasing the goal? Sure, in fairyland. Would anyone expect him to do so? No. Would a player stepping out of bounds while catching a potential Superbowl winning catch own up? Course he wouldn't. With the possible exception of showbiz, sports are the epicenter of "me first", so knock that silly idea on the head. Second: does anyone REALLY expect Michel Platini to call for a replay that would verify his countryman's "cheat" status and could possibly eliminate his home nation? Puh-leeze – he's a little man in a position of power, and people in positions of power in all endeavors leave all sense of integrity at the door when they sink into their comfy seats.

    As for the gentleman who pointed out that peole are dying all over the world, yes they are. We do our worrying about them in other forums. Here we discuss sports.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  386. VR

    FIFA should not introduce video replay. A human ref and two linesmen have always been a part of the game. The game is full of smaller mistakes, wrong penalty call, missed infraction, poor calls but that's not what dominates the game. The only difference with this episode is that it had larger impact in the Irish team, but it shouldn't be the cause for changing the rules. Football is a human game and it should be judged by humans in the game. Not by videos, computers, pannels, committees in suits or anyone else. Only by a human referee with all his imperfections.

    Changing rules, introducing computers, would make the game different. Leave the 150 years old traditions alone. And the main of those traditions are: you don't argue with a referee and the referree's call is final. Let this stand as is.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  387. Emilia Effiom

    Why are people blaming FIFA now? In 1990 in Italy when Cameroon played England, it was so blatant that they had to compensate for the cheating by adding one more to to the qualifiers the following series. It's a Religion of the 'Big Name' countries.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  388. Paul

    In a sport, which I played for 25 years, where diving and resultant PKs determine so many winners, singling out Henry for 'cheating' is ridiculous. Not to mention offside, shirt pulling, etc. Missed calls are unfortunately part of sport.

    Those calling for Henry's banning should watch some 'divers' in action. If you would be banned for diving, Portugal couldn't even field a national team!

    It is unfortunate they played 210 minutes and didn't really settle the tie decisively, but an event never turns on one play. You don't have to have played the game to realize that.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  389. James Given

    Anyone who has ever said cheaters never prosper, obviously never played World Cup Football. How can I watch anymore when I know the final outcome is flawed. Time for a rematch!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  390. Steve

    Absolutely ridiculous. Thierry admits he cheated, but doesn't go far enough to show any kind of respect for the game. France should do the honorable thing and let Ireland play on. This is terrible for the game and its fans. Ireland scored a goal and had it called back on a nit-picky little foul and then Thierry does this and gets away with it. He will be booed everywhere he goes and somehow should be disqualified from playing– for at least a couple of matches.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  391. Andrew

    Everyone angry at Henry needs to calm down. Seriously. It's a shame the ref didn't catch it but it is not Henry's responsibility to call it out. The opposing team or the ref are the ones who should have been watching. Do you really expect a player to stop playing while the ball is in play and no calls by the ref have been made to go up to a ref and say "Gee I had a handball back somewhere over there." Sometimes rules are broken, but athletes are always told to keep playing until the whistle is blown. That's just the way it is.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  392. Chudi

    I dont know what all the noise is about. No one has ever called for a replay when referees award a penalty or free kick wrongly that leads to a goal or rule of a goal that was perfectly on-side, or even when a player is dismissed without cause or a player is left to player when they should have been dismissed. I think what happened is part of the gain, the Irish may feel bad but I dont remember any Irish player going to referee to say sorry I did not score a goal

    November 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  393. Cesar

    When will FIFA and UEFA pull out their heads from the sand? The referee was wrong (as the referee has been wrong in many games recently). While some referees are culpable, you cannot blame them all the time. The game has moved to such a high pace, 1 referee and 2 linesemen will inevitably miss things. Rugby has long used video technology, and at little or no time delay. It is long overdue for soccer to wake up to reality. If they really want to keep soccer in its original form, they should go back to the original balls, the original boots, the original rules, etc. Wake up, FIFA and UEFA !

    November 19, 2009 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  394. tab12

    I agree! FIFA needs to GO!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm | Reply
  395. Ryan

    Platini and Blatter should step down immediately!! Clearly, they are the true cheats, as they care more about having the "Big Countries" in the World Cup as opposed to promoting "Fair Play." Shame on them and FIFA!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  396. royston

    FIFA just redefined the definition of cheating and fair play.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  397. Jamie

    It's a disgrace!!!I feel sorry for the french people knowing that their team are going through with a massive cloud hanging over them. I think there should be a shoot out or a re-match. The Irish nation is DEVASTATED!!!For the team to have played so well, and then to have been robbed like that it's shocking!!!It is FIFA's issue though, their lines men and referee were not professional and they should have spotted the hand ball. I'm Irish and the country is very upset today. Hopefully they will find some kind of solution!

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  398. Chris

    I guess this just shows an American viewpoint vs the world. Enforcing the rules is the job of the referee. Making calls against yourself is not required, even for the best and most honest. And to make a call against yourself is betraying your teammates. In all American sports, except golf, you let the ref make the call. The only thing that Henry did wrong was admit that it was a handball, because now he's showing up the refs.

    People saying that Henry is a cheat need to get a grip.
    Now....diving on the ground and screaming like a baby to draw a yellow card...THAT's cheating. Something all of you soccer fans should be very familiar with.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  399. stefanB

    Henry should be banned from soccer for at least 2 years just like any professional cyclist is from competition for doping (cheating). What's the difference? He knows the rules, but he chose to cheat.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  400. diego

    fotball is one of the oldest sports in the world. and as such there are no replays. it was completely up to the ref to point it out, it was definitely not up to henry to walk up to the ref and tell him he commited a handball. the ref has always been a part of the game in football. and in this instance it is the refs reputation that should be tarnished not henrys. when have you ever seen an italian own up to diving? or anyone for that matter own up to commiting a fault. replays should never be allowed in football. what, the game is going to stop so the ref can step out of bounds and look at a replay? youre a world sports anchor, not a football anchor, clearly. so stick to what you know and play on.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  401. Teresa

    Wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing I had cheated like this. He blames the ref for not catching him. That's like robbin' a bank and blaming the cops for not stoppin' ya. This guy has lost all respect.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  402. helena

    i'm not french even irish but i fell shame for french !!!! This was terrible FIFA must do something about...

    November 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  403. John Stutt

    Referees are human and make errors. FIFA should recognize that and implement a system like the NFL in US.

    November 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  404. Tennyson N

    There might be a likelihood that if the game were replayed Ireland would lose by, say, 3-0 what will happen then. The Irish might end up with egg on face. Instead prepare for the 2014 World Cup. You will get over it in time. Cheer up

    November 19, 2009 at 4:59 pm | Reply
  405. Ed

    "Henry tried something and he succeeded" – Cameron27
    "It was a fair play...Refree should be blamed not Henry at all" – Ravi Kumar

    It's this type of excuse making that makes me vomit. I really can't believe that people think it's okay to cheat as long as you don't get caught. "Win at all costs." Ugh, it's so disgusting.

    Maybe I'll go kill my boss tonight so I can get his job. As long as I don't get caught, it's alright, right?

    Again, it's this level of humanity that just makes me ill to my stomach.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  406. Barry

    FIFA... Grow some Kahunas and order a replay, NOW. Otherwise you will continue to have the "corrupt" label. You already cheated by seeeding the teams for the replay

    November 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  407. BB

    I'm French and I think that the match must be replaied. Otherwise, it's the shame for my country.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Reply
  408. Patrick

    FIFA should institute the same rules currently employed in the Europa league, where there is an official behind each goal – exactly so that someone much closer to the actual event can make a call, rather than the linesman or the center ref. This incident sets a horrible example to youth players around the world, and the fact that it involves one of the game's greatest ambassadors makes it even more important that FIFA respond by implementing changes for the World Cup. All of the qualifying countries will be playing a variety of friendlies between now and next summer – these matches would a perfect opportunity for FIFA to experiment with instant replay and/or additional officials.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  409. French Hater

    You cant blame France.......It was all the Referees fault!! THink about it....if you were France, wouldnt you be excited also?? Exactly.....Instant replay needs be here!!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  410. Bill (US)

    Just one reason why "soccer' is a no go here. At least the NFL (US Football) has wisely made use of television "instant replay' to work out contenious rulings on the professional level and it has not at all adversely affect amateur football at the high school, college and street/park playing level. Sounds like Ireland was 'robbed' and France was a "fix" by FIFA to win.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  411. Ken

    FIFA, just institute the damn instant replay and some official "review" parameters so we don't have to deal with incidents like this again. If you really care about the game, you'll get with the 21st century and use modern technology to better ensure fairness in such situations (while still being mindful of the fact that too much technological intervention could undermine one of the most appealing aspects of football, "flow"). And fellow football fans, lighten up. Under the currently unwritten but understood rules and parameters within which modern football is played, this kind of stuff is bound to happen every now and then. Referees are human and miss calls; players are human and generally aren't going to refuse an advantage gained by a missed call. These facts are just part of the game, and everyone who has ever played it at or near the professional level knows that and implicitly agrees to and abides by that "understanding." Henry is no less a good sport than he was before this incident; he did what every other player (in the modern game, at least) would have done. If you want to go back to the days of Stanley Matthews et. al., you'll need to take a few billion dollars out of the current game and go back to making players have real jobs in addition to their footballing.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:01 pm | Reply
  412. Iain Gill

    FIFA and the French are a disgrace. This team will be forever tainted with their cheating victory. FIFA has done everything possible to keep small teams out of this world cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  413. Mark

    There seems to be a common theme among those against Instant Replay. The game of football is for cheats...
    Plain and simple, its part of the "game". Apparently the skill required to win a "fair" game is not what it is about. Getting away with illegal actions and faking fouls is an integral part of the game. All you namby pamby "fairplay" woosies just need to get over it. This is a sport for REAL players that aren't afraid to cheat to win. If we make it too difficult to get away with cheating all the fun will drain from the game. All we'll be left with is a display of skill and competition without the thrill of not getting caught with our hands in the cookie jar. What kind of message would we be sending to all the kids who love this sport? Fair play is more important than winning? Forget it, who would want to play? Remember, learning to fake injuries on the field is a valuable lesson for the real world when you want to get out of work or school. Lying is an excellent tool for getting what you want. And its a lot of fun too!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:03 pm | Reply
  414. Amy Feran

    This incident just goes to show the prejudice against Ireland from day one, nobody will listen to a small country like us. It is heartbreaking, Ireland were beating France the whole way through. Even the Swedes are outraged at the referee's choice. it is cruel, if this was a bigger more powerful country like USA or France there would be a replay asap. But FIFA don't care for Ireland, we need pressure from Irish-Americans and anyone who cares enough. Football has lost respect all over the world, and Ireland has been treated badly...yet again

    November 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  415. danny

    FIFA is a dreadful federation who is stuck up into money and life. FIFA is corrupted all the way in and out. Europeans are very fast in criticizing Baseball, American Football yet the US federations and sports rules are way beyond the FIFA. I am Swiss-Brazilian and mark my words when I say football has become a corrupted sport and without honors. The best of all this, is that FIFA claims strongly “Fair Game” were is the fair in this game?

    November 19, 2009 at 5:04 pm | Reply
  416. Dave

    To Kevin and those like him who blame the refs:

    @Kevin LOL: "It shows an awful lack of awareness to blame the player in this situation. Americans, have tons of professional sports, see this type of thing happen all the time. It is up to the refs, not the player."

    Yeah, it's up to the refs to stop the cheating. Sheesh! This guy knew the rules and blatantly ignored them. Heaven forbid the players actually just follow the rules. Kevin and his ilk are sending the wrong message to players (especially kids!). You imply that it's okay to cheat as long as the refs don't catch you.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  417. follySurfer

    Players are always looking for an advantage, whether it be a tug on the shirt, or a partial handball. Give the guy a break. No one else in the entire League would have owned up to that. He did what he needed to do to get a win for his country, and he did. Every person criticizing him would have done the same thing. Either be hated by your country, or hated by everyone else. I'll choose to side with my country. Don't blow this up into something that it's not. The issue has to do with the refs, and the replay. Not the player that did something that all players do. Try to win at any cost. It's sports. If a player from your team had done the same thing, you would be smiling and not complaining. Don't deny it.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  418. shameonfifa

    Shameful.. I've been a fan of Henry for a long time and I'm heartbroken. A great player that failed a great test. Any argument that either team is not capable of winning the world cup is daft. Rankings mean nothing. Look at the USA beating Spain.
    The Irish would have done the same? They have to be tested first don't they. What we do know is France was tested and they failed.
    It still would have gone to penalties and who is favored in a penalty shootout? Ireland- Shay Given anyday.
    Anelka should have been given a red card for diving in the box. He was already diving when Given touched his foot. Another great example of shameful football. The lesson my kids learned watching this, you want to win- cheat.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  419. Jim

    Henry is a cheat. Platini has been a protagonist of the English game for many years, investigating English soccer teams up the ying yang. However, when his beloved 'Les Blues' cheat and steal, he is like a little mouse cowering in the toilet. Sepp Blatter isn't any better. It is time to kick these idiots out.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  420. tom

    France has cheated and even I am french I would to see a replay as ireland ask for........this is very shameful and no nobody shoyld again purchase Henry sponsored shirt ................DO NOT BUY ANY OF HENRY GOODS.........

    November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  421. Marc Z

    Referees make mistakes. You have to live with some. But you don't have to live with all of them. There is a lot of talk about bringing instant replay in other sports like baseball, where it is not in use. Soccer is a sport for which there is no excuse for not having replay available to challenge goals. There are only a few goals in any game to begin with and even less that have any controversy, issues like hand balls and off sides are fairly disceranable on review, and any time it takes up can be tacked on at the end along with injury time. Challenges can be limitted in number and teams can even be penalized in some way by requesting a review that goes against them, say by loosing a challenge or loosing a substitution or something more creative.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm | Reply
  422. Ernesto

    Yes, Ireland was cheated out of WC. FIFA has to implement video replays.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm | Reply
  423. ESM

    Being how blatant it was, and the ramifications of the action, FIFA should dis-allow the goal. That would result in a tie and lead to a penalty shoot-out, which is where the game most likely would have ended up anyway. It wouldn't be the most exciting way to handle things, but it would be the right thing to do. I'm a U.S. and England fan myself, and if it would have been either of these teams possibly cheated out of the World Cup, I would be livid. I don't think there's any excuses whatsoever for denying what is right when you uhave definitive proof. Anything else is a cop out.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  424. adm

    Everybody take a GIANT step back here for a moment. Think...just think. For starters, football(soccer) isn't the only sport without replays. Secondly, those that do have replays....still have errors. In American football for instance, a call can be missed, then reviewed, but if the footage isn't clear and concise the original call is not overturned. Other bad calls are still not caught in the first place to even be reviewed.
    With that said...it's the nature of soccer that play is continued at all costs. Play only stops for out-of-bounds and fouls(that are caught, obviously). Momentum is of supreme importance on the pitch, and stopping the game for however long it would take to review every call could be detrimental to the game.
    Every soccer coach ever, has said "Play until you hear a whistle." Elbowed in the ribs...didn't hear a whistle...go get em. Handball in front of everybody...no whistle...get the ball back. It doesn't make it right that they got away with it, but his Henry's handball didn't score the goal either it just kept it in bounds and in play. There was still failure by the defense after that the lead to the eventual goal. In sports, if you've ever actually played, this is referred to as having to play against the officials as well as the opposing team.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  425. Mouilag4

    it is really sad for the irish. because on both games they deserve to qualify for the WC. i am just distraught by the fact that Fifa is still playing the blind policy when a game like that one involve many millions of dollars behind!!!! come on!! they must at list add 3 other referees who will be around the ball during all the game(like in american football)...or to use the replay (costly particularly for developping countries) Fifa should stop hiding their head in the sand. in south africa we are going to see many cheating again (diving, handball,...) all of that simply destroy waste the beauty of that game!!!! shame on you france!!!!! miserables!!!!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:15 pm | Reply
  426. Steve

    Yes, absolutely blame it on Henry. He cheated. He knew at the time that he was cheating. It's not okay just because the referee did not see it. You play a game; you should follow the rules. Henry should be ashamed.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Reply
  427. ruben

    shame that ireland will not get a chance to replay this much deserved game. Stuff like this makes me want a booth review like they do in american football. Henry is not a cheat anyone would of played the ball like he did to take his country to the biggest stage in sports the World Cup. Ireland deserves a second chance

    November 19, 2009 at 5:19 pm | Reply
  428. Pepe'

    Ireland, get over it. We would have won no matter what was or was not called. Your team is not even in the same class as ours therefore Ireland did not even belong in the match. Veva la France

    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  429. Gerardo Martinez Casas

    Fifa is responsible for this situation. Not Thierry Henry's, not the Referees, is Fifa and it´s lack of commitment when in comes to what they term Fair Play. If Fifa would demand honesty and integrity from the players with strict fines for players, teams and national teams by using technology to double ckeck this would not be happening, Actually i am happy is happening because we need resolution. If Fifa can fine a player for aggression to other players from a replay, Why can they do the right thing when it comes to Fair Play? Simple solutions to simple matters. Fifa needs new blood...

    November 19, 2009 at 5:21 pm | Reply
  430. John Kennedy

    I'm pro-technology on this argument, but being respectful of traditionalists who don't want frequent pausing of the game, I suggest a compromise: Have 3 refs on the field and 5 refs monitoring via TV (costly? negligible in the grand scheme of things). The 5 TV refs can overrule a call if ALL FIVE push a "disagree" button. Only in such unanimous cases would the game be paused for replay inspection. This would at least correct the most obvious errors and would make it slightly harder to conduct bribary.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:23 pm | Reply
  431. Tom Ryan

    Henry's cheated and France celebrates. I can't speak for others but I for you one have lost my taste for French wine. I will avoid it.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:25 pm | Reply
  432. Richard

    I'm not a fan of European football/soccer but I think the people of France are proud of their team and maybe not so proud of that victory, it was a call the officals missed.

    ps. The real disgrace is Sean the Irish-American who comments that American football is a lesser game.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  433. Senan o Sullivan

    When you watch a rugby game and the referee has difficulty deciding whether its a try or not , he then consults the fourth official to get fair play.If the team has scored then they are awarded the score. Everybody is happy
    If in the same game the referee misses a discipline incident the citing commissioner has the power to punish the offending player at a later date. once again fair play is administered.
    in gran prix racing if a driver leaves or enters the pit at the wrong speed he is notified and punished.
    in most sports a compeditor who has taken an illegeal substance will be disqualified and the result will not stand
    In horse racing after the race has been run the stewards can examine how a jockey rode his horse. If they find that he did not hold a true course they can disqualify him and award the race to another horse.
    In a cricket game the umpires consult the 4th umpire
    IN SHORT I COULD GO ON AND ON AND ON WITH MORE EXAMPLES OF HOW OTHER CODES HAVE A JUSTICE SYSTEM . MR PLATINI YOU WERE A GREAT PLAYER WHO RESPECTED FAIR PLAY. NOW ITS TIME FOR YOU TO STAND UP AND BE COUNTED.
    YOU HAVE ONLY ONE OPTION OPEN TO YOU........ REPLAY THE GAME IN WEMBLEY OVER 90 MINS>>> WINNER TAKES ALL AND THIS TIME HAVE A TV REFEREE FOR THIS GAME AS A TRIAL TO SEE HOW YOU GET ON WITH IT

    November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  434. Indrit Fieri

    This is an act of injustice, i was watching the game yesterday and i could not believe it when the referee allowed the goal. What was even more unbelievable was how sure of his decision the referee was. When the players from Ireland started complaining he even made a hand gesture to Ireland's goalkeeper that Henry put the ball down with his chest.......incredible and what a shame

    November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  435. steve

    As an Irish fan i feel robbed. This shouldn't have happened. Henry should come out and be a man and admit he ment to do it. The match must be replayed. Ireland were the better team over the two legs, once again fifa let everyone down...........

    November 19, 2009 at 5:26 pm | Reply
  436. Clint

    It is a shame. Henry is too great a player to do this and soccer is too great a game to allow it. When you put winning before honor, nobody wins.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  437. Angie O

    Shades of Diego Maradona's handball, no?
    I don't blame Thierry for not admitting it during the match. Not many (if any) players on that level, especially playing for the reason that they were, would. If anyone should've protested officially, it should've been the coach from the opposing team – and taken it up to the appropriate officials beyond just those on the field.

    Sadly, officiating at this level sets the "tone" for all lower levels. Ameture players begin thinking that if the pros can do it, then they should be allowed to as well. I've watched it progress since the World Cup was here in the states – and the local refs allowed FAR more physical play that ordinarily would've warrented yellows or reds.

    I blame the field refs for this...pure and simple. I know they're only human, but they're pros and are paid to be impartial and fair. Clearly this did not occur.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  438. CHUKWUMA CYRIL

    HONESTLY I THINK IT IS TIME THE TRUTH BE SAID. FIFA IS NOT FAIR WITH IRLAND IF THEY DONT CALL FOR A REPLAY,AND FIFA SHOULD CHANGE THE LAW THAT MAKES A REFEREE A GOD IN A MATCH. HENRY SHOULD BE PUNISHED FOR HIS ACTION SO THAT WE CAN HAVE FAIRNESS IN THE GAME OF FOOTBALL

    CHUKWUMA CYRIL

    FROM-SPAIN.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  439. Roz

    Thierry Henry is a cheating hypocrite, he complains left right and center about cheating by other players, yet is the first to do it himself. The initial contact may have been accidental, but the second contact was deliberate and to come out later to say that it was a handball is no consolation to the Irish. Henry, you should be ashamed of yourself. Why did you admit to an Irish player that it was handball; yet did not go to the ref and tell him the same thing?

    FIFA go on about Fair Play, yet allow players away with this sort of crap on the field, the goal should be negated and the game given to the Irish – THAT should be the punishment of the cheating team.

    Do something FIFA – oops you already did by seeding France in the playoffs. FIFA and UEFA are the biggest cheats in football. They will do anything and everything to let the 'bigger' teams win/get away with crap – just look at Rangers in Europe – when will they be banned for their fans behavior? Yet smaller, lesser teams have been banned/severly punished by loss of points, playing games behind closed doors, etc. Time to revamp FIFA & UEFA.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:29 pm | Reply
  440. Don

    Obviously, it is a shame that Henry's assist was not disallowed and that the game was decided by this lack of a call.

    But I am no more upset with Henry than I am with all the other footballers who commit blatant (and not so blatant, for that matter) fouls during a game. By definition that would include ALL players.

    They are all guilty of committing fouls. Is it okay to do so? In my opinion, NO. But, my opinion doesn't really matter to anyone but me and it won't change the fact that all these players will get away with whatever they can, when they can.

    So the solution is to embrace new ways to assist the referee on the field while minimizing the impact of the flow of the game. Personally, I am for some sort of replay system. The purist's don't want to interrupt the flow of the game but there are already interruptions: they are called stoppages and they occur all throughout the game.

    FIFA: the writing is on the wall-read it at the next stoppage of play.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:31 pm | Reply
  441. Emem Udengwa

    It's the beautiful game, not because they are saints who play and watch it but, firstly, because humans do with their legs what we believed could be done only with the hands, and secondly, because of all the drama which include the sometimes annoying acts by the footballers.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  442. orindan

    As you can surmise from the comments here, Henry is mistaken that he would have been reviled had he admitted the foul to the referee. The goal being disallowed would not have caused France to be eliminated. They would have had 17 minutes plus a shoot out to get the goal fair and square. And he would have been held up as an International paragon of good sportsmanship. He missed an immense future opportunity for the small immediate glory. And to let Henry off the hook and simply blame the referee ensures that our sons and daughters learn the same bad lesson – "Cheat, there is no downside, and only fools are good sports".

    November 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  443. SoccerUSA

    SHAME, SHAME, SHAME! THE INTEGRITY OF THE GAME DEPENDS ON THE HONESTY OF THE PLAYERS AND NOT SO MUCH ON THE REFEREE. THE PLAYERS ARE AWARE OF THE RULES INASMUCH AS THE REF. HIMSELF. IF THE FRENCH HAD ANY INTEGRITY, THEY'D FORFEIT THEIR QUALIFICATION AND ALLOW IRELAND TO ADVANCE.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  444. Brian

    The problem here is that it was a DELIBERATE hand ball... It wasn't like the ball popped up in the air and accidentally struck his hand. He saw the ball going out of bounds and used his hand and he scooped at it.. How did the referee AND both linesman not see this?

    Under these circumstances where the game was decided on such unsportsmanlike conduct and poor officiating the right thing to do is to replay the match.... It is an atrocity that such an important match was decided in this manner. FIFA needs to act; if they don't it will send the wrong message to the game and make people even more anti-establishment.

    Have you ever seen so many non-bias fans supporting such an over turn? Heck even the french people are disgusted with the manner in which the game was decided. Obviously this is is a special circumstance that requires special review

    No advantage will be given as ireland will still be down 1-0 and must again travel to France and win...

    November 19, 2009 at 5:33 pm | Reply
  445. Robert

    Please, give me a break. Are all these saints really saying that if you watched the entire game there wouldn't be a Irish player who had a hand ball, and did not make a written confession to the ref? The fact that this handball lead to a score is immaterial, all actions either lead to a score or prevent one. It doesn't matter if you score with 1 or 89 minutes left, it all counts the same. I have never seen a soccer game at any level where there weren't uncalled, and unconfessed handballs and other offenses.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  446. Richard Long

    instant replay for penalty kicks only. games are won/lost on those decisions. no replay for other fouls/calls.

    ...and it's called SOCCER people.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  447. Mel

    Disgraceful result, even if the linesman claims he did not see the handball, he could not possibly have missed the 2 French players who were OFFSIDE as he was directly lined up with them!ROBBED!

    November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  448. Laurence

    May I remind Bob Ducker that contrary to his point that only France would have a chance of getting beyond the first round, Ireland has in fact been to three world cups and has gotten beyond the first round every time, securing a memorable win over Italy in 1994 as well as getting draws against sides like England (1990), Holland (1990), Spain (2002) and Germany (2002).

    This was a heroic Irish display, and the sense of outrage is palpable. We have been denied our place in major tournaments by goal difference (Spain 1982), away goals (Euro 2000), golden goals (France 1998), Play-off defeats (England 1966, Euro 96), a single goal (Sweden 1958, France 1938, Euro 76, Germany 2006), a single point (Brazil 1950, Euro 92), a single defeat (Euro 2004) but never did we complain about luck or anything else because despite the heartbreak, the results were fair and the contest was fair. This was different. We were cheated and FIFA is happy about it. Yet when Ireland does qualify or win, it's the 'luck of the irish' or the 'rub of the green'. It doesn't matter how many Stephen Roches or Roy Keanes or Colin Farrels or Bonos come from this tiny Island, our successes will always be down to 'luck' and we will always remain the cute passionate underdog, outfoxed at the end by the superior larger nation.

    Oh and by the way, Ireland's competitive histroy against France? Played 10, 4 wins, 2 draws, 4 defeats. Not exactly mice and men, is it?

    Ireland deserves better than this.

    Michael Platini owes Ireland a world Cup.

    Perhaps he remembers how he stole one from us in 1982? Oh, sorry, that one was fair and square and we didn't complain....

    November 19, 2009 at 5:35 pm | Reply
  449. Welcome to South Africa Henry

    We (the Irish) will have the last laugh. Can you imagine playing in South Africa, knowing you cheated your way there. Oh the fans of all the other teams you will play against they will abuse you so bad. Can you hear it in your head now Henry the fans all waving irish flags saying cheaters go home. Enjoy your short trip.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  450. RomaPete

    Instead of video replay, why not try putting a second referee on the pitch? The referee is asked to cover 22 men, at least 20 of whom are moving quickly over a large area, and that's too much. American football, which has the same number of players and a field of about the same size, uses about 6 officials on the field, and even then they miss things. The NBA and the NHL do very well with 2 referees. Practically every football match I have ever seen has similar incidents, though seldom with so much at stake.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  451. pp

    A cheat ?
    For those of us that have played soccer even at low levels, we know that we act on instinct and reflex. That action was to fast for Henry to thing about putting is hand on the ball... It is pure reflex.
    Had a defender had that reflex and a penalty be given, he would simply find himself stupid and not able to explain his action.
    Henry did not cheat. He played hard. When he realised how the action had developped, he might, in another world, he said to the ref: sorry, made mistake, not good... But as a former division 8 player, I telle you when you are in the game, you don't purposefully commit hand ball: it is pure reflex

    November 19, 2009 at 5:37 pm | Reply
  452. Jon

    What I think is ironic is that everyone here is demonizing Henry as a cheat but do any of you think that ANY of the Ireland players (or any others for that matter) would have done differently under the same circumstances. There is ALWAYS cheating in professional sports. These guys will do anything to get ahead. At least he manned up and admitted to it. That is more than I can say about professional American sports. Just remember guys, it's a GAME. And to Ed, you clearly have issues if you think that killing your boss is on the same level as a missed call in a sporting event.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:38 pm | Reply
  453. Robert

    How could you use re-play in soccer? One major poin to the game is the game play is continous, stopping for replays negatively effects even football games, it would kill soccer. So are you going to have a replay offical viewing the whole game to see the 10 or 20 uncalled infractions result in turn overs? Are you only going to do it for the last x minutes as if the goals scored early counted any less. Its not workable.

    BTW has anyone looked carefully at the video for the whole game to make sure the Irish immediately confessed every infraction they committed, to be fair you have to look at all their World Cup Qualifying games.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  454. Ave

    Part of the game. Just like what happened to that girl who is in so much trouble for the video of her getting into some scuffles on the field. In the girl situation, the ref should be suspended for a long time, if not fined, for not taking better care of the situation. When there is that much violence on the field, you separate the players for good, and it's just unlucky for whichever one got caught.

    As for this situation. This is soccer. This is part of the game. You can't get mad at what he did, and not get mad every single time a striker or back takes a dive to get a whistle in a crucial situation. If you get mad at Henry for this, then you shouldn't be watching soccer in the first place. Or you should be a fan of Ireland. Otherwise he did his job. He should be celebrated for pulling it off.

    That said, I have no problem with a control box and people talking to the ref through an ear piece watching replays so he can make better calls. There are negatives to that approach, but the real issue here is that until soccer gets something like that, Henry did nothing wrong. Have you ever seen a Sunday afternoon football player go up to a ref and say "I didn't have possession, that isn't a touchdown"? No, and you never will, even with replays, just like you never will in soccer, even with replays. PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Reply
  455. william b. larsen

    Hi,

    Although I did not see the game, I've seen the replay many times.
    I agree with everyone that what happened is a total disgrace to the
    game. Their should definately be a replay.

    This further underlines what many sports reporters and fans
    acknowlage that football (soccer) must get itself up to date with
    the likes of other sports so that these incidents will deminish.

    William B. Larsen

    November 19, 2009 at 5:46 pm | Reply
  456. Tony Gammell

    I get the feeling that the tide is about to turn this evening...the fans of football all around the world is up in arms about the injustice that occured last night.

    Ireland was robbed of a place in the World Cup,and with it, tens of millions of dollars...

    My fellow Americans, it's time to stand up as a nation and make our opinion count. Write an e-mail to FIFA and tell them of your displeasure. Its going to keep happening unless the world unites against cheating.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:47 pm | Reply
  457. AaronM

    Anyone who blames the player in this incident is an idiot. What players do you know that stop a play to declare that they committed a foul? The guy was honest with it afterwards at least, it is not his fault that a call was not made. If an NFL player grabs someone's facemask when tackling him, and a call is not made, do you think he goes over to the ref and tells him that he committed a foul? No. Do NBA players stop the play to admit that they fouled the player when they stole the ball from them? Absolutely not. You don't stop a play when you commit a foul, it's up to the officials to make the call and stop the game. Anyone who thinks the player should have stopped the play is an idiot.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  458. Joe

    Get with it football. The real football has instant replay. No reason he should have said anything. If that were to occur everytime anyone had a conscience the play would be overturned. That would be pothetically PC.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  459. Adeyemi lsaac,,,GERMANY

    Well to me i have go throuth what every individual have writte,but i want to say my own wiew,what Henry,did is never a crime,maradona has done soo B4,soo Henry is not the first person to do something like that,what of if Henry should deid on the field of playing,and lrich,used the opportunity to score against france,who is to be blame?everything on the filed of playing is game,,the score must come,and that is our,it has come and Henry has done it 4 his country,,,,KNOW GUESTION;;;;;;

    November 19, 2009 at 5:49 pm | Reply
  460. HB

    A tad harsh to call Henry a cheat...anyone who's played the game has gotten away with a foul, and I'm certain that most of us don't rush over to the official to incriminate ourselves. If he even had time to consciously think about what he was doing, he also knew that if he HAD been caught, he would have almost certainly been cautioned or worse.

    At least Henry had the stones to get up after the match and admit it, and though I don't like the situation and would gladly prefer to see Ireland over France anyway, Henry is correct: it's the officials' responsibilty to see a foul and make the call. They were in perfect position to call the offsides on the free kick AND the handball, and they blew it. Henry did what any player would do after that handball: he kept playing since he didn't hear a whistle.

    We ALL have continued to play after an obvious foul, but most of us don't have 30 cameras and 20 million people watching. Put the replay system in to help the officials, no problem...but don't crucify Henry...at least he owned up to it (hear that, Diego?)

    November 19, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  461. Mark

    In this day and age, with tv replays, it totally brings into question the integrity of the game. That was an illegal goal. I watched the match, Ireland dominated the entire game and truthfully deserved to win. They should be allowed to play again!! Rematch and bury the tainted trip to the World Cup.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  462. Giselle

    while i empathize with the general sense of outrage people need to see the incident from the perspective of the player and referee. as a former player i can tell you that the ball comes at you so fast that you have little time to react. lets be honest without the benefit of replay technology and looking at the play in real motion it is difficult to say with full certainty that the ball did little more than hit henry's arm. to say that he intentionally guided the ball with his hand when in fact the ball hit his shoulder area is not a realistic judgment. As for the referee finding himself behind the play and looking at the play in real motion it may well have been that what he saw with his own eyes was the ball hitting henry's naturally outstretched arm/shoulder, not the other way around.

    Had we been in Henry's place as present or past players I sincerely doubt we would have done things any differently. And besides what would you have Henry do otherwise ..... throw his body in the other direction, step completely out of play... people please be reasonable.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  463. rcom

    "The Hand of Fraud"

    November 19, 2009 at 5:54 pm | Reply
  464. Footy Fan

    The ref missed the hand ball (maybe he didn't) ...France score, Ireland end up losing on aggregate...c'est la vie, mon amie. I was rooting for the Irish to upset the French, but it didn't happen and it's over. What I don't understand is the worldwide reaction. I know it was a high-profile match, but missed calls are part of the game and it happens everyday. Even Ireland's coach acknowledged this himself. I'm certain Ireland has been on the right side of missed call themselves. That's the beautiful thing about the sport, it's one purest we have left. Fans of Americanized sports turn to technology for everything. For the love of football, I hope technological gimmicks never make their way into the game. A ref, 2 linesmen is all the game has ever needed, and that's all it will ever need. Video replay will kill the beautiful game.

    November 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm | Reply
  465. Marlon

    If the ref did not see it at the moment, and if the ref didnt sanction it at the moment then FIFA does not have to do anything, soccer is a game of luck if you can pull one of those moves off then you are superior to the opponent...Henry is a good thinker and he and his country deserves to go to the world cup...

    November 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  466. Antoinette

    This day should be called "THE DAY OF DISGRACE"

    He who cheats is never respected so FIFA and everyone who loves real and true football must demand for the match to be replayed otherwise this dishonest event will be remembered forever as the ugliest day in the history of football (like Maradona's hand)
    I am neither French nor Irish I am a football lover and I love football very much just clean,fair,interesting and honest football I ask the FIFA to be brave and make a braver decision which is that the MATCH SHOULD BE REPLAYED

    November 19, 2009 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  467. Rich K

    I see the big deal, and it's a rotten deal for Ireland assuming Ireland would have qualified had that goal been disallowed. But it also seems to me that this incident is just a snapshot of life overall; playing to an advantage, most of which are inherently unfair in some way from a purist's standpoint is something that most people do everyday. It's both expected and rewarded.

    In fact I think the only sport I've ever seen in which a player has acted contrary to his or her own self-interest by voluntarily owning up to a blown judgment call by an official is singles tennis and in that event the responsible athlete affects only their personal fortunes and not the fortunes of their team. I'm quite sure I've never seen it at match point.

    Rules violations and other unpredictable events happen in sport, and that and entertainment value are why it's necessary to play the games. Otherwise we could just declare winners by accepting the handicapper's lines. Video replay in football would be so disruptive to the flow and grace of the game that I would opt for a 'no' to that just for purity's sake. Now, adding another on-field offical to add to the number of eyes watching for infractions, well that's the way American football handles it, and that would be cool with me.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:10 pm | Reply
  468. rob chevy

    ...a world class player like Henry, should have just turned around after hitting the ball with his arm to show all soccer fans around the world what playing fair stands for..Henry saw that the ref didnt blow his whistle so he continued..in my eyes i respect Henry as a player but i would have respected him much more if he stopped the play at that moment..also the refs should have made that call..there is no reason that tehy didnt see this ...

    November 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  469. Gold Obielum

    I strongly disagree on the installation of cameras to over-rule the referees decision. I wanted Ireland to win but its unfortunate that henry cheated. Technology will ruin football in every way and tarnish the image we footballers uphold. If the decision is passed, what will be role of the referee?

    November 19, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  470. Brian

    I have played competitively for 20 years and I NEVER considered doing something like that... whether it be diving to win a penalty, faking an injury or deliberately handling the ball...

    To say the game was too fast and Henry just reacted is RIDICULOUS... he hit the ball twice with his hand and the 2nd time you can see him reach out and scoop it.... absolutely AWFUL.... there is no argument that can be made to say Henry is blameless and that we all would have done the same thing

    Have you ever seen half the world lobby for something so hard? Obviously a MAJOR injustice was done and FIFA needs to correct it or feel the wrath of fans

    November 19, 2009 at 6:21 pm | Reply
  471. Rick McDaniel / Lewisville, TX

    Not really. The whole thing comes down to, total lack of sportsmanship in sports today, where you do not place undue importance on any single referee call, nor on any single play.

    Sports should be abolished, as organized activity, because everyone involved, is just in it for the money. It really isn't sport, anymore.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:23 pm | Reply
  472. Laurence

    Two very silly points are being made over and over again here. Firstly, the point is being made that if Robbie Keane scored the winning goal with his hand, the Irish would have accepted it. While no-one can say for sure, I'm sure there is validity to this point but IT'S NOT THE POINT. No-one should be implying that Irish players don't cheat and French players do. The point is that cheaters, regardless of their nationality, can easily be caught with instant video replay. To that point, I didn't hear a lot of French complaints when Zidane was sent off in the World Cup Final for a clear red-card offense. The ref didn't see it, the linesman didn't see it, but the fourth official, watching the big video-screen in the stadium, saw it and violated FIFA rules by informing the ref of the incident even though he only saw it on TV.

    The second point is that the so-called 'video replay interferinbg with the flow of the game' is simply a lame argument. No-one is suggesting that managers should be able to launch challenges of every single play in the game, stopping the game constantly. Simply giving fourth officials the power to watch TV and inform referees of things that they missed, just like linesmen routinely do, would solve the problem. The Hand of God, Henry's handled goal, the famous Rivaldo dive, etc, would have been caught with minimal interference to games. It's perfectly logical and it would eliminate this kind of injustice.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:26 pm | Reply
  473. Laurence

    BTW I would like to thank the French Public. They sometimes get an unfair rap, but their national pride is a good thing. In a poll in LeMonde today, 88% of the French public thought France did not deserve to qualify for the world cup under these circumstances. French Media is dominated by shame today.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  474. Mad as Hell

    FIFA has made very clear that money comes before fairness in the world of international football. This is a disgrace to football. FIFA is a disgrace to football. I'm not from Ireland nor Frence but incidents like this really spoil football to a degree no fan can tolerate.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  475. footballnigel

    I don't think he cheated purposefully. I think it was pure reflex. I've played all my life at competitive levels, toured Europe. Sometimes when the ball is flying away from you, the situation is tense, you're operating on pure reflex and that's what COULD have happened here – without thinking he reached his hand out to stop it.

    Instant Replay via TV? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? This is not American football. Football (soccer) is continuous. There are no timeouts. The game flows. The ref is part of the game. That's just how it is. A bad call is like a missed opportunity that was a sure thing. If we start stopping the game to review fouls, 90minutes will turn into 240 minutes. At that point, we may as well add quarters, timeouts, make a goal three points, 1point if it's above the uprights, etc...

    It sucks, but that's just how it is. I'd much rather favor a rematch over using replay tv. Leave that to the NFL. If we start to analyze the game frame by frame, it becomes something entirely different. American Football is based upon a play by play strategy so this frame by frame analysis will work for the NFL, not for International Football!

    November 19, 2009 at 6:30 pm | Reply
  476. Marco

    FIFA shouldn't be hiding behind its rules: the game needs to be played again!

    The Netherlands

    November 19, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  477. James

    Henry touched the ball TWICE, the ball was moving out of play, you coukld say the first touch was a reflex but explain the second one which looks like it totally altered the direction of travel – like a flyswot towards his right foot. Even then at 2 touches his mind could have directed him to half-hit the ball with his foor – instead he made a directed accurate pass inside to Gallas [ whom I give the benefit of any doubt ] .

    Innocent people look sheepish straight away, they do not touch the ball with their hand TWICE and then an accurate follow-up kick, they do not wheel fast away and join "celebrations" .

    For FIFA unless the organisation stands up for Fair Play, Justice and the Correct Spririt to play the game worldwide- irrrespective of world rankings or size of bank balance then it too is dishounoured and frankly why bother listening to anything FIFA has to say on the rest of world football?

    Whether it's a amongst friends 5-a-side match, a kick-about in the park or an organised game at any level generally you expect players to play to the spirit of the game – we've all come across players without integrity or dubious teams – but who trusts them a 2nd time and wants to play with them again?

    The French Captain has admitted cheating, the French team and him will forever be associated with a blatant disregard for the rules and the spiirit of the game at the highest level. The image of France and French sport is under severe danger and the French People, Government and President should " Do the right thing" and ask FIFA to replay the match in whatever form FIFA would decide.

    Failing that when the "chips are down" in any past time, sport, business or social event there will remain a lingering doubt and an oderous whiff of suspicion that France plays from both the top and bottom of the card deck and maybe also the card deck up it's proverbial sleeves.

    Thus the French national motto is called into question as if one looks at the definition in Wikipedia you can see how this runs totally counter to what has happeded in this match and so far the follow-up from any of the French authorities..... Can Liberty, Equality and Fraternity ever be the same again!

    James Shine
    World Football fan and also a Francophone {most of the time..}

    November 19, 2009 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  478. Paul

    Hey Pedro,
    come on get it right! The quote you refer to about football being more than life or death is from Bill Shankly, Liverpool legend...yes manager of an English club but not an English manager.

    Born Glenbuck, Scotland

    Thank you!!

    November 19, 2009 at 6:34 pm | Reply
  479. diego - brazil

    we could have something like we have in American Football, where each coach could have 1challenge per game to question something blatantly wrong.
    It would add some 3 minutes per play...but could correct some huge mistake like this one..i dont think it would add a whole lot of trouble and the coach would always save this "timeout" for crucial situations...

    November 19, 2009 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  480. Mark

    The whole momentum killed by instant replay argument is bunk. Why do you have a ref at all? Every time he makes a call it kills the momentum. What if a ref is TOO good? If he sees most of the infractions he'll ruin the game. So by this argument a ref NEEDS to ignore a certain amount of the fouls, etc.

    On the other hand, if the players stopped trying to get away with whatever they can perhaps the momentum could also be maintained. Errors will always occur, but the willful disregard of the rules would have to end to keep the game momentum moving. Gee that would be horrible!

    November 19, 2009 at 6:39 pm | Reply
  481. jason

    i dont like fifa at all, i wish all the teams would break away from fifa dictatorship, the french team is a team with out honor

    November 19, 2009 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  482. Terry

    What a bad example for kids who follow their football heroes. I think if a player dives, handballs on purpose or bad tackles, he should be suspended for 5 games and be fined heavily.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  483. Mark

    First of all, thank you to those French people who posted on here about their shame at Henry's actions. His actions are not indicative of France. The fact is that Henry handled the ball TWICE in that move. The first one you could forgive as being instinctual, but the second one was deliberate. He is nothing but a coward, look at his going and posing beside Dunne at the end of the game, all done purely for the cameras. He has been forced to come out and say that it was a handball, well with the evidence he couldn't deny it!

    His statement was a typical self serving, mealy mouthed response saying "the ball hit my hand" it may have the first time but definitely not the second, that was deliberate. Then he says "I told the referee and he said you're not the referee" implying that the referee knew this during the game and then decided to let the goal stand. He didn't go anywhere near the referee in the two minutes between the goal and the restart. This is important because the referee cannot disallow a goal once the game has restarted. Henry knew this.

    Henry is desperately trying to switch the blame to the referee and trying to look like the victim in all this. He may have said something to the referee after the game but that is only self serving action to try and retrieve the tatters of his reputation.

    Everyone all over the world can see that Henry is a cheat and and a coward, and his manufactured image of nice guy, and all round sporting figure is shown for exactly what it was, a facade of lies, hypocricy and cheating. I wonder do his sponsors really want to be associated with such behaviour? He is practically claiming that it was the referees fault for not catching him! Obviously he's never heard of taking responsibility for his behaviour! Compare that with the likes of Tiger Woods, who like other golfers, goes out of his way to call a foul on himself for mistakenly moving a ball an inch or two, or having an extra club in his bag.

    There is some breaking news now, the FAI (supported by the Irish Government) has submitted an official complaint to FIFA regarding the game, and asking both them and the French Football Association to agree to a rematch. There is a precedent for this in a world cup match between Uzbhekistan and Bahrain. Personally I don't think this will work, but it'd be interesting to see what they say!

    Finally (apologies for the long post) the referee is getting dogs abuse in Sweden. Apparently, they are calling for him not to be allowed to referee an international game ever again. The linesman though is more culpable as he had a clear view of the incident and did nothing. To say nothing of not putting his flag up for the two French players offside when the free kick was taken.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Reply
  484. Johannah Duffy

    I am extremely disappointed and shocked by last night. Since when has it been acceptable to handball in soccer. This is sending a worrying and negative message to not only to the Irish team, their fans: young and old, but also internationally, that is okay to cheat. A replay at the very least needs to happen.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  485. hugorram

    hilarious how ireland make a huge deal out of it, their prime minster wants to talk it out with nicolas sarkozy. Big deal.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  486. Keith

    To Summarize:
    1. FIFA, are you listening?? We WANT action replays to decide contentious issues.
    2. Stop vilifying Thierry Henry – How many of those incidents happen every game? Sure he was wrong, but for goodness sake, the system let him down. Imagine what his country men would have done had he told the ref about it. Once again, the system let him down.
    4. There are scores of unseen incidents every game. You can't single Henry out for punishment. He is a great player by anyone's standards.
    3. Ireland can feel as cheated as all the teams that have had to endure this archaic system of adjudication.
    CHANGE THE SYSTEM – We all want it anyhow – We live in the Electronic era for goodness sake.

    November 19, 2009 at 6:56 pm | Reply
  487. Keith

    Oh yes, about the Ref. If he didn't see anything (Let's try to give him the benefit if the doubt) then he didn't see anything. You can't blame him for that. The system let him down too. It's not rocket science – setting up electronic systems to ensure that these things are cut down to a minimum. I mean they use them in Tennis, Cricket and more appropriately in Rugby Football.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  488. Fitz

    Robert: your main point against the use of video replays in soccer is that "the game play is continous".Sorry but you are mistaken if fifa were concerned with this we would not see players being treated on the pitch for injuries then being made leave the field and stand on the sideline to wait to come back on, this wastes significant time in most games. FIFA are not concerned with this! FIFA are concerned about sponsers, tv rights and the bottom line!

    November 19, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Reply
  489. Eoghan

    I'm Irish and of course I'm peeved off. What Henry did, was unsporting and it does tarnish his good guy image, but Ireland lost and that's that. There no way FIFA's going to allocate a replay, but we have to put things into perspective. This story has got more coverage than the tragic death of Robert Enke. Sometimes there are more important things in life than something as trivial as football.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  490. J-Flo

    WILL EVERYONE STOP BLAMING HENRY!!. I'm an Irish supporter but I understand if your not cheating, your not trying. It wasn't premeditated. The ball came at him and he reacted. He admtted it was a hand ball. The Questions are how did all 3 refs miss this. How do you implement instant replay reviews in soccer?

    November 19, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  491. Robert

    I agree, not using instant replay for penalty kicks is silly, but how would you work it into the game for even goals? The system for goals in regular play would have to be real time, and it could easily be done since all you have to detect is a ball crossing a fixed line. For big games, the cost would be trival. However, I will note the slowest game in the world, American Baseball, has refused to use any of the several systems for calling strikes even though all of them can do a better job than any home plate umpire.
    For all the penalties, its a non-starter for soccer, do you really want play to stop for minutes on each disputed call? Do coaches get challenges? That would be a great thing if you team is winded or out of position, just throw the challenge flag.

    An automatic systems solely to detect goals would be a good thing, anything else is a pipe dream.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:22 pm | Reply
  492. Jennifer

    Video replay is mandatory, I believe. But not a rematch. There have been far too many episodes of bad and unfair refereeing in the past, and if those matches were not played again, neither should this one. It wouldn't be fair...there is too much power in a ref's hands, that he actually can control who wins and loses a game. This, is what should be rectified.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:23 pm | Reply
  493. CJ

    The French are the better team. It will be an exciting 2010 World Cup. :)

    November 19, 2009 at 7:27 pm | Reply
  494. Peter Leong

    We know FIFA doesn't want video replay because controversies generate excitement and interest too.

    Their concept of fairplay and integrity takes secondary interest to generating $$ thru' controversies.

    Really, the big cheese of FIFA should be changed. Video replay is the norm in so many other sports, e.g. rugby.

    Soccer has to catch up with technology but FIFA is run by a bunch of old men (if I may say) .....

    November 19, 2009 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  495. nilson

    Congratulations to France.
    A wonderful goal after a Fantastic play by Thierry Henry.
    He is a amazing player able to deliver when the team need him the most...
    llegal? Who cares? This is only footbal... If you can cheat and the referee is misled, that is just fine...
    It is not politics, war or professional thing. This is fun and competition...
    FIFA can not turn down what was decided by the referee... It would be a disgrace for the sport...
    France has a wonderful team... that do not play a 'squared' football as other europeans teams, although they are not constantly consistent...
    They have very talented players, very creative... For me, the only european team which is favorite to get the World Cup title in Africa.... People in Africa want a feast, a party, a beautiful game and not strong and tough athletes mishandling the ball...
    The way that Thierry Henry did was great... it was subtle... the referee and the side referee could not see the problem with their view point...
    Fantastic... He will be always remembered as the guy that this fantastic hattrick as Maradona did in 1986...
    Vive la France.
    Vie le football.
    P.S.: I am not French.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:38 pm | Reply
  496. jd

    he did it TWICE, do you still believe its ACCIDENTAL?

    how come the refs could have missed the fouls, first there was an offside by 2 french players and then hand-ry's handball?

    November 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  497. soccerpro

    you all know nothing about soccer. There is no fair play, you got to do whatever to make it. It is a technique and part of the game, that is what makes soccer interesting even better. this has been around for decades and it will continue to occur again and again. It requires skills and it take a lot to cheat and not to get caught. suck it up, Henry got what it takes.

    November 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Reply
  498. Daniel Bastaja

    If FIFA does not grant a rematch to Ireland against France, it makes a mockery of the FIFA slogan "My Game Is Fair Play". It is time for FIFA to prove it means what it says.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Reply
  499. barry

    i was always a fan of henry but i hold noting but contempt for him for what he did ,he should his head in shame and also fifa he should have owend up when it happend ,

    November 19, 2009 at 8:10 pm | Reply
  500. pramok

    Its high time, FIFA introduces Hawk Eye (Like in Tennis) to settle disputes instantly during the game as Referee and 2 lines man cannot cope with the game thats evolving technically complex and played by thorough professionals who are more advance and shrewder than the umpires.
    But the decision and result must be made during the 90 minutes game
    not after the game is over. Pramok, Kathmandu – NEPAL

    November 19, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Reply
  501. Ademola Adebowale

    Pls FIFA must order a rematch between Ireland and France.The same FIFA always preach FAIR PLAY in any organized FIFA tournament,so where's the fair play in the case of the match between Ireland and France or is FIFA telling the whole World of her partial interest in France or is FIFA saying to the whole World that you can cheat as long as you're not caught.
    Pls for Fifa to still keep it's credibility,integrity & honor,that match must be replayed.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:34 pm | Reply
  502. David Blackburn

    Life isn't perfect. We don't and can't control everything. Modern technology tends to make us think that we can control everything, always get the right answer. No matter how hard we try errors will be made and we'll have to live with them. That said, we should certainly try to minimize and correct errors as quickly as we can, but balanced against the cost of the elimination or correction. In football, I draw the line at anything that interrupts the free flow of the game. Instant replay does that and thus I think it is a very bad idea. I would find it as equally objectionable as the multitude of players who flop to the ground at the slightest touch and fake injury, the divers in the penalty area who get tripped by a blade of grass and still get a penalty. The divers and the fakers are sometimes penalized after the game has been completed (though by far not nearly enough). Maybe deliberate hand balls should be accompanied by a suspension of 1-3 games.

    What happened to Ireland (the land of my ancestors) is not fair and a big error was made. I think a bigger error though would be to start to change the game of football into a stop-start-stop affair that instant review would begin.

    November 19, 2009 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  503. Sue

    What's has been shown to all the children in the world is: it's ok to cheat as long as you don't get caught. Wow, what great role models for our future. :(

    November 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  504. amool

    It's quite simple isn't it? If the governing body is interested in fair play then it's time they played fair. No point blaming Henry. What else was he supposed to do? If FIFA want to avoid leaving their impotence in full display they should avoid this Law 5 nonsense and do what is right, just like they did in 2006 between Uzbekistan and Bahrain. The French were finalists at the last Cup (deservedly or otherwise) and should be performing better than this, rather than having to rely on luck to get through. The fact is that they underperformed and did not deserve the spot. Rather than resting assured of a spot at the next cup they should be vilified and shaken up (starting with Domenech who should have gone after the last one anyway) just like they were after the 2002 goal less exit in the first round.

    November 19, 2009 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  505. Michael

    Since it's obviously too hard to detect by the referees and FIFA refuses to use technology to handle disputed plays, let's just allow players to touch the ball during key moments. That's what we're doing by not enforcing the rules with every tool available!

    November 19, 2009 at 10:31 pm | Reply
  506. Barbara

    Can you imagine what the reaction would had been if Ireland had won on a "hand ball." Not much, except for a French reaction. What makes the Irish always think they're so special and so entitled. Get over it and move on. Things like this happen, and blowing the whistle is the job of the refs.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Reply
  507. Ed

    Re Giselle's comment
    1. Henry clearly and intentionally handled the ball
    2. he is trying to justify cheating by saying he didn't get caught
    3. the referee claimed he saw the incident and the ball hit henry on the hip so why won't he look at the video and adm it his mistake
    4. the referee made no attempt to refer to his linesmen
    5. the french FA as well as manager refused to accept it even happened.
    6. there is no guarantee that Ireland would have won either in extra time or on penalties but at least it would have been an honest result.
    7. Henry claimed he told the ref so why then did he not do anything?
    there are too many things that don't add up. someone is lying to save themselves.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Reply
  508. Tiago

    I is a shame that FIFA doesn't addopt the rule of watching doubt plays on tv like there is on tennis. This sport has a lot of money envolved, a lot of fans all over the world and because a decision of some "leaders" the football passes for this shame. Maybe there is money behind... that is why i don't interest more on this sport than what i do, I don't like unfair things.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  509. Marco

    Most people attacking Henry are hypocrites. Maradona was voted best player of the millenium, and yet what is the difference between his "Hand of God" and Henry's "Hand of Frog"? Blame the ref, or blame the system but the player was doing what all players do, continue the play until the ref calls out.

    November 19, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Reply
  510. billy mulvihill

    FIFA are a joke,we were robbed and Henry comment should be acted on by FIFA. 3 things I think they should do
    1.Order a replay
    2.Ban Henry for rest of the world cup
    3.Allow Hannson and his colleagues to only ref matches in Sweeden anymore

    November 19, 2009 at 10:54 pm | Reply
  511. Mac

    This shall haunt Henry for the rest of his life. Millions of kids are being taught to accept defeat, to be fair, that cheating is wrong. And now? What do you tell your 12 year old? To grow up and learn that moral decadence is reality? Adults seem to accept the crooks as a matter of modern life... in government, on Wall Street, at the work place. PLEASE, let our kids grow up a while without the shame.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  512. Pedro

    It is a shame and a disgrace for the sport and to Fifa if they allow something like this to take place. Giving the French team access to such an important, meaningful event in South Africa through a clear and already admitted cheat is silly and the worse publicity possible for soccer.
    How will people in S.Africa look up at the French team? They will certainly be considered an unworthy group. Many French are the first to ask for a replay, I say let them win it fairly. France's football association and FIFA itself should have the straight forwardness to accept the Irish request for a replay.
    Protect this sport. Protect Fair-play.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:06 pm | Reply
  513. Would-be-Anonymous

    It might be an emotional first response to cry injustice over this infraction.
    However, any professional world football player knows that in the heat and pressure of the play moment, moves are done that cannot be reflected upon or considered during that moment. I'm certain that this is a case of move first and think later, as far as Thierry Henry is concerned. I doubt it was deliberate! Hence, I don't think that Thierry Henry is the main culprit, here. Nor is France, nor is FIFA.
    No, the main person(s) to be held responsible for this infraction, or the failure to notice the infraction are the refereeing officials!

    November 19, 2009 at 11:08 pm | Reply
  514. MAKK

    its a big shame to the french player,Thierry Henry for doing the wrong thing at a very crucial time.Time like this when everything is at stake,u do not do a thing like that,it only brings confusion,high temper and hatred for the game.France might have qualified but they wont go anywhere,their quest for the world cup will be very short so is their journey to South Africa.Im a proud God fearing African.God lives.No one likes cheating.

    November 19, 2009 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  515. Gurufootball

    Wow I’m surprised at several things. This is just sport not politics. Yes Ireland was the victim but they will have another chance in 2 years for the European Cup and the world cup in 4. No one died.
    1. The number of comments is unbelievable. You would think this is more relevant than invading Iraq and the killing of thousands on all sides based on lies.
    2. It’s a fact that FIFA & UEFA desire the big teams to win for marketing reasons. Without it the sport will suffer. I remember when the Olympics were for amateur athletes only why did it change? Let’s be realistic.
    3. This is a sport created by man, governed by man, and ruled by man. We all know man is not perfect, therefore once in a while something like this is bound to happen. I mean I’m Portuguese and I have seen Portugal eliminated from international tournaments by France on penalty shots 3 times in the last 10 years. Referees choose to see or not see what is convenient for the sport.
    4. It’s a fact that smaller countries have to win but win conclusively. But the fun is in this, watching a country like Portugal with 10M people being a contender.
    Goooooooooooooooo Portugal and bring on France in South Africa.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:09 am | Reply
  516. EthanATL

    Henry fessed up as soon as the match was over, which is a lot more than anyone can say about D. Maradona's 'hand of God' incident in '86. However, it is high noon for FIFA, and the football governing body, now has to seriously consider corrective actions (may be 1 or 2 other refs, or video replays in high stake games). They will not be able to implement those for every game, but for all WC games, and high visibility games, the individual FAs should have the option of paying for instant review, the technology is there, and it wouldn't slow down the game.
    France aren't too blame for this one necessarily, neither is Platini (UEFA). Blatter (FIFA) needs to look at it, or retire. As for Ireland's appeal, it should be granted. The FFF should offer to replay the match (pressured by FIFA). I am french, but there should be a rematch, on NEUTRAL ground (Switzerland).

    November 20, 2009 at 12:10 am | Reply
  517. Pierre Cadeaux

    I am a proud Frenchman but these days I am indescribably ashamed of being from France. We cheated, we stealt this "victory" from the Irish – we have to admit it and face the consequences.

    Some people talk about a rematch – I don´t support this. France should be totally suspended from this qualification and Ireland given the ticket to the World Cup.

    Shame on France – shame on me and my fellow Frenchmen :-(

    November 20, 2009 at 12:20 am | Reply
  518. Francis Caffrey

    No way can these cheats go to South Africa in all my years following the beautiful game I have seen just about everything to suggest football is rotten to the core but this paris rob just beats all. We deserve a replay at the very least and am even prouder to be Irish than I ever was.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:29 am | Reply
  519. johnny

    he even even siad it .. it was a hand ball, but hes not the ref... and for those blaming the ref , its not his fault eithr , there are times where the ref is in a psition on the field that from his angle he cant see the hand ball , or the faul commited..... ive played soccer all my life and im currently a assitent coach at a University, and that is what the game of soccer is all about .. no matter how honest a team or a player is there will always be cheating.... the elbows the pulling shirts the slide tackles with cleats up, the drama after a small foul to cause the other team a yellow or red card. its all part of the game... the big thing about this is that the hand ball was in a game with great inportance to the world... and thats why theres so much hype... if it were in any other game it would already been forgotten... replays would only mess the game up.. we been playing like this for centurys ,and oh well some times you have good luck and sometimes you dont... last week we had a game in which we lost, we dominated the whole game had 3 balls hit the post and in the last minute there was a non-exciting penalty called in where the player trip on his own .. we lost 1-0 .... but i did understand that from where the ref was standing it would of looked like a penalty... SO THATS SOCCER LET IT BE.....I LOVE THIS GAME REGARDLESS OF WHAT HAPPENDS..

    November 20, 2009 at 12:38 am | Reply
  520. Kevin Kilbane

    For the future of football, replay is the only way. One game. 1-1. Neutral country. Sudan. See you there.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:40 am | Reply
  521. Heather

    I'm Irish, I love Irish football. I was disappointed to miss going to this match in person (I live in Japan). And though I'm gutted about this so-called incident, and about not qualifying when I believe we could have, I think some of the posts here are angled in the wrong direction.

    Henry screwed up. Most players do at some point. I think banning him from playing in the finals would be insane. No one would have admitted to that on any team. I wouldn't really expect them to either. It seems he knows it was wrong, but he knows he'll let his country down if he says so, etc. Also, the system is as much at fault as the player that plays the system. Laws get changed after the incident in most cases, maybe this'll be the case that changes the system.

    The ref screwed up, but instead of asking for better regulations with refereeing people are ignoring him and pushing for tech-refs (which I'm not against, I like the idea, it's great for rugby).

    So, I'll hope for but not expect a replay, the same way I hoped for but never expected Henry to own-up.

    Let's change the system, but let's take it easy on France, even if they win the whole thing next summer, it will Always be tarnished.

    Here's hoping for the replay all the same...

    November 20, 2009 at 12:41 am | Reply
  522. johnny

    Lionel Messi's handball – Barcelona v Espanyol, La Liga 2006-07

    Barcelona were chasing Real Madrid in the final stages of the La Liga season when they came up against city rivals Espanyol. As Barca pressed forward a deflected cross looped up in the penalty area, and both Espanyol goalkeeper Carlos Kameni and Lionel Messi went for it. Messi looked as if he was going to attack it with his head when instead he punched it in. The incident drew comparisons with a similar effort by another talented Argentinian..
    THIS HAS BEEN FORGOTTEN... LIKE I SAID ITS BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THE GAME........LET SOCCER BE SOCCER ...

    November 20, 2009 at 12:47 am | Reply
  523. patrick

    I logged onto FIFA 's website and tried to post a comment, in the comment I challenged FIFA and it's President president sepp blatter to do something about this injustice, he has made fair play the centrepiece of his presidency yet this is anything but fair play, it sends a message to kids worldwide that cheating equals victory. The interesting thing is when I tried to post the above comment on the FIFA website it said that my comment could not be posted as it contained profanities (despite the fact that my comment did not contain profanities) all I said is exactly as I stated here. It seems that the FIFA website is heavily censored and that comments criticising Sepp Blatter and FIFA are not allowed. Some thing stinks here and it seems that Sepp Blatter and his cronies got exactly the result they set out for in the first place (strange that they seeded the teams just as soon as the qualifying campaign had ended and they knew what teams would be participating).

    November 20, 2009 at 12:47 am | Reply
  524. CP

    In my opinion, Henry should not be the one to blame as he did what he could to make his national team qualify. U guys cannot compare this incident with Maradona's without knowing for sure that Henry's handball was intentional or not. Whether to blame Henry for cheating really depends on whether this handball is intentional. Think of this way. For example, a referee gave a penalty as a player went down in the penalty area although it shouldn't be and the player himself also knew that. But he wouldn't talk about that in the field. Why? Because it is taken as an opportunity by the team who can benefit from this penalty. U see my point? Actually, as far as I can remember, Man Utd has had this kind of penalty incident once and they benefited from it but only after the match, Ferdinand did admit that it shouldn't be a penalty. Will u blame Ferdinand for that? Is he cheating? Is he a Maradona?
    Yep, Henry could have a better impression if he admitted to the referee that it was a handball but come on, guys, just because he didn't do so, doesn't mean he is a bad guy or cheating.
    P.S. Follow-up comments are warmly welcome, thanks =)

    November 20, 2009 at 1:00 am | Reply
  525. Weird

    It makes a lot of sense of using Video Instant Replays during MAJOR decisions: as in Henri's handball-then-goal situation, offside-then-goal situations, ball over the goal-line or not situations etc. Also a challenge system can be implemented, as in tennis, NFL....It does not necessarily hamper the flow of the game but raise the overall quality. Don't you think?

    There are many good reasons and opportunities to improve and help officiating the game. Why not use it??

    CHANGE WE BELIEVE IN.......

    November 20, 2009 at 1:38 am | Reply
  526. Marlon Picarzo

    I am not a football fanatic as this two countries are because I prefer softball... I symphatise the Irish quad as they gave the good name of football a "world class game" to be proud of.... No offence to Mr. Henry, I think you are the re-incarnate of Mr. Maradona.... you can still redeem yourself by calling a rematch.... which i doubt will happen coz' it's in the hands of FIFA now.... let's wait and see, hope it won't take their response too long... Cest La Vie! (i don't know what is this, i just like the sound of it).

    November 20, 2009 at 1:47 am | Reply
  527. Colin Richardson

    FIFA should introduce modern technology just like they have done in tennis and rugby. Far too much money is involved not too use it. Thierry Henri should be banned for his blatant handball, it was disgraceful and the game should be replayed.

    November 20, 2009 at 1:48 am | Reply
  528. Lekan

    To me FIFA is being baised and i suppose FIFA's decision makers have seen the video to help them make a REPLAY DECISION.

    If this match goes down without a replay, alot will be affected and French people will pay for it in different ways such as Business relationship, friendship and FIFA will also loose the confidence in sport fans...

    November 20, 2009 at 1:56 am | Reply
  529. heidi thomsen

    This match has to be replayed. The referee has to be suspended, how can you not see two French players offside and then the ball being handled twice? Incompetence!
    How can France go to the World Cup in 2010 knowing that they cheated. I reckon just like Madonna, Henry will be known for the second hand of God for the rest of his life, if this issue isn't solved.
    OR could it be because the FIFA President (Platini) is French??

    November 20, 2009 at 2:08 am | Reply
  530. Ashu

    ya thats right ,when maradona does it the argentinians call it "The Hand of God" and when Henry does it it's the "hand of the devil" ?. The french people especially need to stop acting as saints and be happy that they at least qualified. It was wrong but does that mean we replay the whole '86 world cup ?

    And as for video replays that's just stupid. goal line technology: yes , extra officials yes but video replays: to much time wasting .

    November 20, 2009 at 2:14 am | Reply
  531. P.J. Murphy

    Henri owned up to the handball. Of course he did, he had no option, given the millions who had seen it as a no-questions deliberate attempt to get away with a cheating act.

    This is the same player who should have been booked for a penalty-area dive where it was clearly shown that Shay Given had pulled back from contact, where the referee waved 'play-on' when the rules clearly state he should have been booked for 'simulation'.

    Not five minutes later, the same Thierry Henry dived again, maybe 30 yards from goal, same result. During the game, and before the goal, a number of free-kicks were given against him, the combination of which should have warranted another yellow card.

    All this apart from the numerous times he reached back to grab an Irish shirt, pulled the Irish player forward to simulate a push, and win a free – this happened at least 4 times in the game.

    With a seasoned professional referee, Henry would either not have been on the pitch, or, carrying a yellow card would not have risked his attempt to cheat.

    Over the two legs of the play-off, the contrast between the honest footballing endeavour of the Irish players, and the cynical attempts of the French to win undeserved free-kicks had saddened and sickened me, even before 'the incident'.

    As a lifetime Irish supporter, I can look back at a long catalogue of 'moral victories', where our team raised their game so many times against vastly superior opposition, only to lose out on marginal decisions, penalties, or simply to a better team. But on this occasion, I watched proudly while my country's team dominated one of Europe's best, and always looked more confident, more determined, and more likely to be victorious. But we were denied this time not by a defensive lapse, or a stunning move by a classier team, but by the cheating actions of Thierry Henri, and the incompetence of the four match officials.

    Controversial decisions abound in football, but if FIFA are serious about their 'Fair Play' campaign, there is no way they can dismiss this incident with a 'gallic shrug'. There is precedent ( Uzbekhistan v Bahrain ) for them to order a game to be replayed, when a clear injustice ( penalty award ) had occurred in a similar critical play-off game.

    Alex Thomas has rightly pointed out that the referee's disqualification of the goal would not have meant Irish qualification. So – a replay, or even an unprecedented decision to arrange a penalty shoot-out – either of these would allow justice to prevail, and remove the taint from the game of football we all love.

    A gesture to say football is about strength, passion, nobility – and never about cheating.

    A gesture I fear the vested interests within FIFA will not consider for a money-grabbing second.

    P.J. Murphy
    Ireland football fan

    November 20, 2009 at 2:16 am | Reply
  532. Belize Rasta

    I personally have no love for FIFA at all. This is just another example to show that the world governing body of football is anything but FAIR. There have been too many incidents worldwide that FIFA should "make right" but in fact does absolutely nothing. In some cases the actually condone and facilitate wrong doings. In my country, Belize, the person representing FIFA as the President of the FFB (Football Federation of Belize) has been in this position for over a decade and has "won " elections by physically preventing popular candidates running against him from entering the venue where the votes are being cast. He has recieved millions from FIFA and has done absolutely nothing for football. Belize has even been disqualified from regional competitions because of lack of a proper Stadium that meets FIFA standards. Yet this person Jets around the world with the bigwigs of FIFA and CONCACAF like all is well. 98% of the football community here is vocally opposed to this President and there have been literally scores of articles in the local and regional press exposing him for the corrupt and dictatorial leader he is. Yet if the government stepped in to correct the situation then we would be suspended from the world body as has happened to other countries where the government tried to intervene to fix local football. Like I said before, no love at all for FIFA!! F.. fairplay I..isn't F..fifa's A..aim!!

    November 20, 2009 at 2:25 am | Reply
  533. steve

    ok... for all you people who think Henry is a cheat, dont even talk. He did own up to his mistake, but its not his job or any other players job to carry a whistle and make calls that should have or shouldnt have been made. SO WHAT!!! Ireland, and every other national team has been called for some controvercial calls, you dont hear the other teams complaining that that's why they lost. Suck it up. Even if it wasnt called, there was alot of time left, then PK's. It could've gone to anyone.

    As for instant replay, it should be left for sports where the play stops every 5 seconds. Referring to the World Cup finals last time, the 4th official shouldnt have even told the linesman about the foul. The center didnt see it, the linesman didnt see it, the tv did. Last i checked, the tv isnt an official and neither are sports casters. The fact of the matter is, the referee didnt call it. its done. stop crying and watch the world cup for what its really about.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:44 am | Reply
  534. Carlo

    One should wonder if current FIFA rules encourage amorality in the youth. Saying it is ok to cheat as long as the referee does not see it is like telling young little boys and girls that in life it is ok to cheat as long as you don't get caught. Children learn through sports. Is it any wonder that there is so much crime? You reap what you sow. FIFA, change your rules and help change the world!

    November 20, 2009 at 3:31 am | Reply
  535. Deepsh KC

    I am stunned by double standard of FIFA. On one hand, they try to publicize their so called 'Fair Play' and on one hand they let go incidents like the one we saw.

    This will surely tell the soccer teams that you can do whatever you like to win. I think they should put strong instance on this and tell the teams to replay the match again. If i were Irish, I would sue the FIFA/UEFA over this.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:32 am | Reply
  536. asdf

    FIFA is so obvious corrupt and euro centric anyway no suprise things like this occur. The big complain I have always had about many European sports like F1 and soccer is unlike the cliche they really don't need the play the game as often the outcome is predetermined (think teammates stopping in racing to let teammate win or teammate wrecking on purpose at just the right time). Its like in Europe no one cheers for Cinderella stories. Instead Berlusconi will make sure AC Milan wins against all the lesser clubs. Sigh.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:38 am | Reply
  537. DarkAngel

    While I feel sorry for the irish and am in full agreement that it is time for replays to be used during the game for incidents like this I am left with one question; "Where was the Irish cry for justice after the "Hand of God" goal? All I remember is the Irish delight in England losing a far more important game (the Qtr Final) with a more significant and obvious foul (scoring with the hand, not providing an assist). Their sudden demands for "justice" and "fairness" smack of hypocrisy.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:27 am | Reply
  538. Sabin

    The refrees are to blame for the (great) loss of Ireland not Theiry Henry .. He did what everybody else would have done in that situation ... so just stop calling him a cheat!! ... and no I am not french, not a supporter of France, not a big fan of henry, anti-Irish... I'm just an spectator of Football who is amused by how interesting,even, WC playoffs has gone to be..

    Go Argentina!

    November 20, 2009 at 6:57 am | Reply
  539. Sabin

    ... and also using TV replays for making every decision is utterly ridiculous. Using extra Ref. is a much better solution. If every decision made by the refs were to be accurate, football would go lame (of course, all the football analysts would be unemployed, Fans would have no intresting subject to talk about).

    November 20, 2009 at 7:09 am | Reply
  540. Jordan

    All those saying its ok to have Henry cheat and France get away with it should go and check their dictionaries and learn what the word cheat means. Because your team isn't affected doesnt make it alright. Wait till it happens to your team then you ll feel for the Irish. I am not Irish neither am I French. I love the way the French play when they are good at it, but this time they were outplayed!! Simple. Henry knows that football doesnt include using hands. Even his admission that it was a handball does show that he doesnt think that he cheated.

    May I suggest (much as this may sound ridiculous to some/many) that FIFA introduce assistants to stand behind the goal posts so that they can detect and flag any goal area infringements and offences. I say this because the video replays have been rubbished by FIFA but players and teams keep getting away with murder. This is sport

    November 20, 2009 at 7:37 am | Reply
  541. Kom

    I'm a Team France fan but I admit that I'm not enjoying this particular result.

    Give Henry credit though for admitting that it was a handball. To run up to the referee to admit during game-time and disallowing that goal would have made him a saint.

    If I'm an Irish fan, I would have been feeling upset, too. But hey, it's just a game. You still have food to eat, place to sleep, and job(s) to go to. It's a shame but please don't let this ruining your lives.

    I agree with this article. Perhaps, it's time for FIFA to deploy TV replay to ensure fairness to all.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:59 am | Reply
  542. J.V.Hodgson

    This is a disgrace to international football and certainly is no longer "SPORT" but business and politics and Henry should be ashamed of himself
    I have 2 solutions.
    1) Under the laws of football FIFA disallow the goal
    2) Under the same laws the game then goes to Penalties at Neutral ground outside France or Ireland with 4 officials, linesmen ref and independent ref observer and no fans from either side, only Live TV
    The second solution?
    Ban Thierry Henry from the whole of the World Cup for bringing the international game of football into disrepute and virtually destrying the intgrity of a great international sport!!
    Regards
    Hodgson.

    November 20, 2009 at 8:03 am | Reply
  543. Simon Western

    I am neither French nor Irish

    What Henry did was wrong but we must be careful not to fall into the trap of hypocrisy.

    Let us put aside emotion and look at the facts through the following fundamental questions:

    1. Is qualification to the World Cup determined by one match? Many of the teams in Europe for example played more than 10 matches. It is the sum total of the matches that determines qualification. These matches got France and Ireland to this last match.

    2. So related to question 1 is: How many of the 10 matches that each team played had a handball that the ref did not see,a genuine penalty that was not awarded, an goal that was allowed but that was in essence offside? Technically,any such match had an impact on who qualified and who made the playoffs.

    I dare say that maybe even Ireland would not be the team playing France if the ref caught everything that happened in their matches. Did they do 'honourable' thing and ask for a match replay in the 'spirit of sportsmanship'? I guess not.

    3. Extrapolate this rationale now beyond Europe to the rest of the world and you will see that this will lead to a bottomless pit of replays all over the world. And FIFA knows it though they seem to be bowing to Anglo-Irish media pressure.

    The ref didn"t see it. Too bad. Those are the rules today. If video replays are used for future decisions, then great.

    Else, if only applied to this one match, a replay would be unfair to all other teams that did not make it because the referee did not see a significant match incident.

    November 20, 2009 at 8:06 am | Reply
  544. TJ

    Football is a professional game.
    Players play to the whistle.
    The referee can only use his (and assistants) viewpoint to reach a decision.
    Any player's viewpoint is not relevant in reaching a decision.
    The referee's decision is final and the referee has to be accountable for a decision.
    An error of judgment (based on poor assistant input or no line of sight) is part of the game.
    The game is played and refereed by humans who are fallible.
    A sense of injustice is inevitable when evidence is shown of an erroneous judgment.
    All Henry could have done was stopped play when the ball truck his hand, BUT he is a professional and relies on the referee to judge his actions.

    November 20, 2009 at 8:23 am | Reply
  545. David

    I am not a major fan of football either, can't believe Theirry did that, he is one of the greatest footballers and its a shame that his future will be marred by le hand.

    Instead of venting your anger on forums, why not contact FIFA directly asking them for a rematch or video referee to be brought in future.

    The Ireland v France game is setting bad precedent "if you cheat and are not caught its' OK"

    November 20, 2009 at 9:31 am | Reply
  546. Oriaku

    Henry, Henry, fifa, fifa, na waooo. Tell me among all of you, who have not for once cheated in his life. This is football, there must be some spices to spice it up, which is what Henry has just done.

    So lets leave him alone, afterall he is not the first.

    November 20, 2009 at 9:41 am | Reply
  547. Tom

    We are now seeing two distinct standards being used by the Governing Football Authorities, first of all lets recall the Emmanuel Adebayor incident with Robin Van Persie, not seen by linesmen and or the referee but was recorded on TV and post match the evidence was used to penalise EA for his actions resulting in a 3 match ban and a fine, also EA gave an official apology, yes it was a physical bodily harm act , and should not be condoned, but only affected one person RvP who recovered in a couple of days. The handball incident with Thierry Henry again an illegal and punishable act in the eyes of football rules and regulations which went un-noticed by the referee and the linesman, although it should not have gone that far as two French players were clearly offside prior to the event, Henry clearly and deliberately used his hand to gain advantage of play resulting in a goal, so why not use TV footage to punish TH in the same manner as EA, FIFA must take a stand and make an example of TH to show footballers that cheating will not be tolerated, FAIR PLAY. TH should be banned from playing in the 2010 World Cup finals as his punishment, although the game should not be replayed. For the likes of Keane and Duff the 2010 World Cup was probably the last chance for them to play in such a prestigious competition on a world stage which is soul destroying and takes more than a couple of days to recover from for which there is no prosthetic, in addition it has effected the lives and relationships of millions of supporters and cross trade relationships between the two Countries.

    November 20, 2009 at 9:47 am | Reply
  548. Pemdoz ( amsterdam)

    its really disapointing to see that such a respectable palyer would perform in such a disgraceful way, i was hoping that he would be very honest but he only told the half truth, henry said explained that the ball bounced on his hand when you could really see that he literally was placing the ball with his hand, ok the first bounced was a honest mistake but the secound one was clearly his doing and he knew exectly what he was doing then and there, IT BOUNCED ON MY HAND !!!!! YEA RIGHT ??? i think henry should be ashamed of himself and i feel sorry for the whole french footbaal team, even though they are now through for world cup but how they got there people will always remember. very very sad, henry even though u scored the deciding goal but that goal also dicided your profesionalism and your love for football not handball. i hope you don't make a habit of these.

    November 20, 2009 at 10:15 am | Reply
  549. Darren

    The biggest loser here is Sport and specifically Football. I also feel that France will lose more from it than Ireland. Some French find it hard to support heir team now let alone the rest of the world! Was it worth it?

    November 20, 2009 at 10:42 am | Reply
  550. Ross Chandler

    If there was a replay France would probably win it and go through untainted.

    The Irish and everyone else that wants fair play should make a complete nuisance of themselves to FIFA so that future injustices can be corrected.

    November 20, 2009 at 10:55 am | Reply
  551. Ian

    Feel sorry for the Irish, they have been robbed.

    However, FIFA have no choice the game should be decided on the ground and at the time – of course this would enable the referee to refer to off ground replays to stop gross injustices at least. Although should there be reasonable grounds that the referee allowed the goal for reasons outside the game they would need to replay.

    Irrespective, Thierry Henry with Le Hand of God should be banned from the World Cup for an instance of gross unfair play. It is always in the power of the player to give himself up. Bit schoolboyish but that's the standard that should be required ~ as for argument that this was in the flow of play, that's rubbish – the game stops when the ball is in the net.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:10 am | Reply
  552. Pedro Lourenço

    What happened in Paris was a disgrace for football all over the World. The fault should not fall on Henry, the blaim should fall on IFA who continues to refuse the use of video and replays to improve the quality of refereeing.
    If FIFA wants to maintain its "fair play" guidelines the game bust me played again. If this does not happen I believe the Irish Federation should buoicot future FIFA organized championships.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:44 am | Reply
  553. Brian

    Unbelievable here in Europe its big sports news I am toatally disgusted with the french national soccer team with their final qualifying match vs Ireland where in the final minutes of the game 1 to 1 the french clearly made a HUGE fowl by touching the ball seconds before it connected for a goal which put the French in ...the World Cup 2010 next year!!
    NO WAY WE WANT A REMATCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 11:45 am | Reply
  554. David K

    I am not a huge football fan, but rather a hockey lover but can relate to the controversy. Hockey is a very fast sport, as is football (especially in the pressured moments) and requires technology to make things entirely fair (for high sticks, hands on the puck, feet in the crease, etc). Without that technology, which is in my opinion, necessary, the game of football will always have these problems. Its a game, and like many games, it is not always fair. Too bad for the Irish, but next time things could be very different.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:46 am | Reply
  555. Rejoice75

    I would 100% blame the referee and the 2 lines men. These people were on the pitch to spot unfair play. What did they do in the case? nothing. That is what doing nothing can cause to the beautiful game. Surely blame it on the referee and the two lines men. FIFA must have some constitution on what should be done to the three men who have seriously dented our game on the planet.

    I know you would laugh at my next statement: As for Ireland, FIFA should grant automatic qualification to the world cup – reason: for being unfairly treated with a handball.

    AfricanBest

    November 20, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  556. HS

    This really is not a disgrace to Football.

    Believe it or not , the fact of the Matter is the better team won and if FIFA wants a good World Cup, they would rather employ a Former Champion than giving a new comer a Chance.

    You can't blame Henry for handling the Ball, this is football and controversy is a must, otherwise Soccer would not be considered the World most famous Sport. if you always try to be the nice guy on the pitch u loose most of the times.

    There no bigger joy than playing for a national team or represent a national team in the world level, and when u get the chance to take your national team to the world cup do you run to the referee and say "pls don't allow that goal, i handed it" no , you dont. so Henry was right. if the Irish want to be in a world cup they need to improve their Team.

    If we want to turn to our TV's to decide matches, we should already get a coffin for Football. Football would definitely have one less fan if such a day comes.

    Cheers / HS

    November 20, 2009 at 11:52 am | Reply
  557. Francis Kyereh (Malaysia)

    It seems some teams (countries) are constantly booked for all world cups. It's had to see France out of the world cup finals in Africa, but I think every country should be given equal chances....

    November 20, 2009 at 11:54 am | Reply
  558. echo

    In football this event often repeats itself. Asking FIFA for a rematch in my opinion is like opening a Pandora’s Box; you can’t possibly imagine how many matches would need a replay! Irish should know that they can’t get a rematch. And they should stop blaming the player, who by the way did what none of their players could do.its a football match, things go wrong!

    November 20, 2009 at 12:02 pm | Reply
  559. Carlos Carreira

    FIFA wont accept using video replays and referees can't see everything, so players should be part of the solution.
    A player should be part of the solution by being responsible for his actions.
    For example a player should know that by sheeting and affecting the final result he would be sentenced for that.
    For Henry, he would have to know that the consequence of not saying to the referee "I used my hand and it is not valid" the consequence was being excluded from the goal the team was pursuing.
    So, although France could be in South Africa, Henri would be excluded.
    The same scenario would be applied to Galas who kneeing the irregularity, had an active play and was part of the sheeting scenario.

    Players must be part of the solution. They can be an active voice in real time helping the referee by admitting guilt.

    We can't change the result of the game, we can't change limitations of the real time judgment of the referees, but we can change the way players behave.

    Let's bring the real fair play to the field.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  560. marcos ricardo-portugal

    all talk about the referee,henry...its all about the money generate,or can you all imagine a world cup without france,brasil or other big countries?theres no passion of football,just profitt mathers..what a shame for the young generations..

    November 20, 2009 at 12:04 pm | Reply
  561. John - Switzerland

    Messrs Blatter and Plattini should stop "French Kissing" and come into the 21st Century , or at least the 20th , and allow video replays of incidents in the box . The message/example for all football players of all ages is clear – cheat as you wish , just don't get caught at the time ! As to the slogan "Fair Play" .... What hypocrites !

    November 20, 2009 at 12:05 pm | Reply
  562. erminach

    i think fifa will never bring a solutions to problems like that , i apreciate the move of irish justice minister ,national teams must battle against the unjustice why not boycoting the worldcup itself to force fifa think over it

    November 20, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  563. S. JASPER NTEGE(UK)

    Hullo FIFA EXECUTIVE and my Fellow World sports Lovers, we need to take this as a serious point for Both sides Ireland and France. The Irish people have been left with Wounds and Tears throughout the whole World Cup finals due!! And France People are gonna be Guilty forever, though the FIFA REF. took his Final Decision. In my view i think FIFA techenical Committee shd be called as soon as possible to Sort out this serious Matter otherwise The FIFA Image has to be Protected Always for our lovely SPORT Future.
    SOLUTIONS; _ The Apologies have to be done and Assurence has to be given to WORLD SPORTS LOVERS and FOOTBALL MANAGERS this things NOT to Happen IN SOUTH AFRICA or Happen AGAIN. I will be greatful if my Idea is taken seriously.
    I REMAIN YOURS,
    JASPER NTEGE( CHIEF EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR-EAST AFRICAN TALENT ASSOCIATES)AND WORLD SPORTS LOVER.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:31 pm | Reply
  564. bertus van buuren

    in the friendly game italy-netherlands, the italiens made a goal wich was made by hand aswell the refery as the linesman said it was a goal. but the fourth refery saw on the replay off the goal that it was hands, on the tv sqreen beside the line. he notivide the refery that it was hands and the dutch became a freekick. this was seen by a journalist off the network that broadcasted the game:sbs 6, the name off the reporter is hans kraay jr. so it is possible to get a fair dissision. but the old man off the fifa who never played an important game say something else. if they have any commen sence they replay the match.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:43 pm | Reply
  565. Iskrenie

    Part of playing a sport is your integrity on the field. Henry is obviously a wimp if he felt so intimidated to admit his error. His truth would've made him more a hero than his lie which tainted himself, his team and the sport.

    I don't believe there should be a re-match, however there should be some consequences brought forth to both Henry and the French team.

    FIFA needs to step up. A team should not qualify for a world title by cheating.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  566. James O'Keefe

    All football fans need is for France to man up. The French should decline on the World Cup berth and replay the game.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:53 pm | Reply
  567. Z

    "I agree it would have been an astonishing act of sportsmanship if Henry had rushed up to the match official to tell him the truth....And if the goal was ruled out because Henry intervened he would have been vilified in his home country."

    Ridiculous. Referee's can't/won't reverse calls when you tell them that you DIDN'T do something (commit a foul, touch the ball out of bounds, handball, etc.) so they CAN NOT reverse it when you own up to something. They apply the rules, players don't.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm | Reply
  568. Bob M

    The decision not to replay is a disgrace. Henry cheated, and he admitted his cheating afterward. This game is proof positive that instant replay on goals is needed. France should not be allowed to advance in such a fashion.

    It calls into question the integrity of the referee, his assistants, and FIFA itself when a goal is allowed after blatant handling of the ball and not one, but TWO offsides that were not called on that very play. It seems to me that the fix was in by FIFA to make certain that France moved on, no matter the means.

    November 20, 2009 at 12:57 pm | Reply
  569. Thief-ry Henry

    Congratulation! You're Thierry Henry and I'm Thief-ry Henry. You have two legs, so do I, but mine are not good at all. You have two hands, me too, thought mine aren't as good as yours. That's unacceptable, but it's true, because I'm Thief-ry Henry.

    November 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  570. C . Menns

    My question is does FIFA belong to Blatter and Platini? if no then they should know that even a country's law is sometimes changed for the better. Do not blame Henry and the match officials , Maradona did it ,some referees see and overlook some do not see .Save the game from corruption and disgrace let a REPLAY.

    November 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm | Reply
  571. Johannah Duffy

    If there is no replay, we might as well call the whole thing "La Cheat Cup".

    November 20, 2009 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  572. jimmy

    why has blatter or platin made no comment on this game yet ,sand and hope it goes awaymore than likly they have buried there heads in the sand and hopeing it just goes away

    November 20, 2009 at 2:32 pm | Reply
  573. The Godfather

    Which injustice? Why not ask the Irish their view about the harsh and decisive penalty in February against Georgia that enabled the Irish to reach as far as they reached in the World Cup qualifiers.

    I’ve seen questions posted all over the place as to if we have lost respect for Thierry Henry. My response if why should I lose any respect for him when football is a win at all cost game? Why do you think defenders at the risk of getting red card and incurring penalty against their team bring down a striker making all the right moves to score a goal?

    I am neither a French man nor a Georgian but the truth is that Thierry Henry played a very important role in securing a qualification for France and that is all that matters. Other great players like Maradona and Messi have at one time or the other in their career taken unusual steps to achieve their aim. Come to think of it most if not all of us in our personal lives have at one time or the other done unusual things to achieve our aim. As the saying goes "the end justifies the means". I doubt if any of the people casting stones on Thierry is qualified to cast stone.

    November 20, 2009 at 2:36 pm | Reply
  574. Love Soccer

    This incident is another lamentable event for soccer lovers. Video replay must be implemented immediately.

    November 20, 2009 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  575. Juan

    Henri is disgusting. Cheating is his action and if he wants to be a face of a sport then he should be held to higher standard and should NEVER have run around cheering after the goal!!
    France is NOT welcome in SA and as a South AFrican we will boo them everywhere we find them.
    Other sports codes such as cricket players have to admit if they nick a ball and umpire does not see it, otherwise they bring the gentlemens game into disribute. FIFA shouts about fair play and racism in soccer but dont seem to mind cheating,
    Puts dark shadow on this world cup – FIFA is a bunch of old men out of touch with reality on the ground!!
    Hope Henri is banned from playing in the 2010 world cup

    November 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  576. Michael from Kuala Lumpur

    There are so many stupid, purely emotional comments here. Fact is, that France qualified trough a clearly illegally scored goal. I can't remember in over 40 years watching football such a clear cheating, because even Maradona's "hand of god" was not that obvious. I don't blame Henry as a professional footballer, I don't blame the referees who always will make mistakes as human beings not not video camera equippped robots. But FIFA must not say that'sthe rule of the game in that case. Why the hell they refuse video replay for referee's decision in critical situations? The hawk-eye in tennis works beautifully and never leads to a dispute and doesn't delay the game (we are talking about maybe 30 seconds??. A player pretending having been fouled costs the same time.. Do it like in tennis. Give only 3 opportunities for requesting a replay and if it was unjustified "punish" the requesting team in the one or the othr still fair and acceptable way.

    But this result, not being a fan of France or Ireland at all, is a shame for football. No need to discuss, Ireland may have or may have not still lost the game. Fact is, France won it without winning it on the field properly!

    November 20, 2009 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  577. Draeggo

    Don't know much about this game but I'm curious as to why FIFA has to be the governing body? Too much apathy to create a new governing body with fresh blood? Boot FIFA, get a real organization in charge that has eyes and ears that work (and maybe a brain). Of course this won't happen and FIFA knows it and is counting on it. Basically.. all football fans that watch FIFA sanctioned games just got the finger from FIFA.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  578. Tony

    FIFA sucks as a governing body. Stodgy, monolithic, power-mad – all terms that would be fair to apply to this crappy organization. For governing the world's most popular sport they're probably the world's WORST governing body.

    FIFA needs to support fair play and honesty. Their pointed refusal to allow for a replay just makes them look all the more tainted. BOOOO!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 4:27 pm | Reply
  579. Ldiddy

    Are you people really serious? I mean come on! How many of you have EVER played soccer and can honestly say you would not have done the same exact thing as Henri? Henri is a heck of a player, and is classy for even admitting he did it afterwards. Honestly, its up for the refs to spot such things, and if they dont well thats just part of the game. Further, why the heck didn't Ireland just score a goal and win the game themselves? Everyone who has ever played a game knows you have to win regardless of the refs. I think Keane hit the nail right on the head calling out the Irish squad for allowing that ball to even be in the box and allowing someone to be open on the back post.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:43 pm | Reply
  580. doogle

    Hey, guess what everybody?

    Today I noticed something...strange. None of the French I work with (I live here in the land of the baguette) were feeling anything but very ashamed by this result. Even the proudest, most nationalistic of my French co-workers have taken no pleasure in this "victoire".

    Hate the French if you wish, but for other "good" reasons...not for this injustice.

    Direct your anger to the FFF and FIFA, more specifically to the dinosaurs that have the decision making power AND no ethical values. Bad for football. Their management needs to GO. Retire. Let honour back into the sport.

    November 20, 2009 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  581. Alain J

    Why is it that we (and you CNN) keep talking about Henry's blatant handball, if there was a clear offside and another handball preceeding Henry's instinctive move? Three occasions withing a few seconds where you would have expected a referee or linesman to blow the whistle. Curiously, they didn't. What does FIFA's boss (coincidentally French) think about this - I wonder?

    November 20, 2009 at 4:56 pm | Reply
  582. Lionel

    Maybe FIFA guys are a bunch of ... for not going into modern technology as rugby and tennis did (prob more sports rely on video), can imagine if the 100m sprint would still be measured by a guy with a good wirst watch. But i rather believe they keep it this way to have the opportunity to interfere with game by giving veiled instructions to refs. We've seen it before. Zidane was red carded in the last world cup final even though the ref didn't see it but relied on video watched by 4th ref, guess that Henry's hand is a kind of pay back.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  583. heidi thomsen

    Fair Play??? Do we really still need to watch the competition, I am at least, am looking at football in a different light!

    THERE SHOULD BE A REPLAY, if Ireland loose, so be it! I think most people forget about thge two French players being offsite before Thierry Handry touched the ball.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  584. Aaron

    Ireland robbed by "Unfair Play", if FIFA ignore THEIR fair play JARGON, then we might as well bring back Racism too, and hooligans, and all the rest.....
    FIFA is run by idiots..... thery're actually like spineless politicans...

    November 20, 2009 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  585. andrew couch

    The match should be replayed, but it won't. If the French had any honor, they would ask for the replay. They won't. If there were no replay and Henry had any personal honor, he would declare that he would not play in the 2010 world cup. That probably won't happen either.
    The argument that "bad calls happen to everyone, so deal with it" rings hollow. It's like saying that "car crashes happen, deal with it." If they are inevitable, then we should at least do everything humanly possible to make cars less dangerous. If nations are going to spend millions of dollars/euros/yen, etc flying their teams around the world, then the least FIFA can do is make sure that the games are not decided by human error when it would take nothing more than one additional official (who could be at home in front of a TV) watching the TV broadcast. Aren't they all miked together anyway? What else are they talking about except infractions. It would take seconds.
    If FIFA had any honor, they would respect the great efforts all countries make to achieve the world cup enough to ensure that the results are fair.
    I've never rooted against a team at the World Cup, but if this result stands, I will in 2010.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:14 pm | Reply
  586. Jesus oh Christ

    i dont see why everyone is hating on henry, he owned up and told it like it is. he committed the handball, but it wasnt called in game. you cant go back. the only thing that can be done is to fire that underqualified referee and make picking and training refs more extrenuious. And on a brighter note....Que viva españa!! spain is number 1 again and is going to finally win the world cup so france and ireland are irrelevant.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:20 pm | Reply
  587. Neutral Observer

    France this, Ireland that. FIFA this, FIFA that.

    Bottom line... integrity is integrity. On this day, Henry, France and FIFA have no integrity. I am a novice at football, but even a novice can see cheating when it occurs. The simple fact that the ref didn't catch the cheat does not absolve the act of cheating. If there's to be no replay, then justice should come swiftly in a 10-0 loss for France in the first round of the Coupe du Monde.

    And if France should happen to win the cup, they should get a nice big * right by their name in any publication who prints a record of their deceitful win!

    Let the name of French Football and Henry be said in the same sentence with Flavio Briatore (of Formula One) and Mark Maguire (of MLB)! Viva la cheat!

    November 20, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  588. Steve

    Yes, Ireland did get cheated and yes, it was a blatant handball, but questionable calls are not just a part of football, but a part of any sport. No ref is perfect, and it was a shame that his flaws were shown at such a crucial point in a crucial game, but people need to move on. FIFA probably won't allow the game to be replayed, the Irish will be mad for quite some time, probably until the World Cup ends, and the French will have to live with a tainted victory. What people should look at is not how the game ended, but appreciate how much the Irish team has improved to go toe-to-toe with one of the best teams in the world. Ireland should by all means be in South Africa, but football is not a perfect sport, and people are just up in arms that the underdog got cheated. If this happened to France, people probably would not be as angry.

    November 20, 2009 at 5:57 pm | Reply
  589. Alain J

    Would also be curious to get some indication what it would have meant in monetary terms for French business and interests if Les Blues had not made it to the finals in SA.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  590. Cormac Ó Comhraí

    This has gotten bigger than just one match now. It`s time to push for a video referee, for proper punishment of cheating and to clean up the governing bodies of football.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:24 pm | Reply
  591. RG

    I am neither French nor Irish. But I love football as much as any fan of the sport worldwide. What the world knows, including France, is that France does not deserve to be in the most coveted sport event that happens every four years—World Cup. FIFA has, once again, failed to recognize the importance of reviewing “television replays to assist the referee during a game.” I respect Henry for admitting touching the ball with his hand, and hope that FIFA will get its act together and give football and its fans justice and/or fairness. And if the Gods of football will intervene with just, then France will not have a good performance in South Africa 2010. This is not my wish for France but I have a strong feeling that justice will be served.

    November 20, 2009 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  592. Ian

    As a former youth league, and FIFA certified ref it does sadden me that not one of the officials saw it. However arguing to bring in technology is an affront to how the game is played. It isn't like American Football where every other play is reviewed on the sidelines, and the ref's voice booms through the stadium while halting play. Football/Soccer is meant to just be played, one of the things we were taught was to keep play moving, that the last thing you wanted to do was stop play. Not much has changed in the rules of the game, and the only reason why the world knows this infraction occured is because of modern technology. 20 years ago the world would be clueless, and it would have been the players dirty little secret. Leave the game as is, leave the refs alone, cause I'd like to see you be out there on the field, running the field the whole game and trying to be as fair and as good a ref as you can be. It's easy to be a recliner ref when you have the TV with instant replay and slow motion, and zoom lenses to get up close to the action, it's entirely another when you're in the mix. As previous people have mentioned there will always be controversial calls/plays, get over it.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Reply
  593. WTTR

    Where was the respect for what Trappattoni put into football from the suits in the FIFA, when they changed the format for the play-offs from an Open Draw to a Seeded Draw?

    Trappattoni's record in football as a manager is second to none. He is also an upright and just man. He moulded one of the minnows of world football into a potential threat to the great footballing nations of Europe. His achievement of taking many players from the second division and moulding them into such a team would give heart to many aspiring national football teams worldwide. He did not blame Henry and is not pleading with the FIFA to have a replay. He is above that!

    Money should be a means to achieve an end. Today, that lesson has being forgotten. The whole attention of the world is the rescue of money i.e. the Banking System.

    People like Trappattoni should be respected. But sadly, FIFA have not even seeded him in their rush to make even more money!

    Do we have to wait until more bombs go off and the world topples before justifiable peaceful protests are once again recognised, and men of integrity again rule! In the meantime, the $,£ or Euro rules!

    November 20, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  594. Jack Footbal

    There is NO ONE guilty here except the dirty dusty disgusting old boy network of FIFA and FFF. Another MONSTER FAIL.
    Wake losers we have instant replay now – we have the internet – we have blogs that you can't control.
    Typical old world "control".

    The days of organizations like this are numbered – they don't think so because soccer is "so popular". Arrogant old school organizations are DONE – they just don't know it yet.

    This is ONLY the fault of the game officials but more so the organizations that are going to kill the game – FIFA and FFF.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:30 pm | Reply
  595. Mike

    Oh grow up. Henry didn't cheat. Committing a foul is not cheating. It's a foul that should be called and penalty given. If you say he's cheating that means that every player that draws a foul is a cheater.

    It's part of the game. Get over it.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:34 pm | Reply
  596. Kevin@mightybuying.com

    The fact is... FIFA at least needs to add another Ref on the field of play. The fact that a sport like soccer... so back and forth... only has one ref on the field.. and two line judges is a joke.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm | Reply
  597. Mike - new york

    I'm an American and don't really care whether France or Ireland qualifies – they're both good teams. So I guess you could say I'm impartial. I will say this. Whatever respect I had for Henry and the French team is now gone. There is bad officiating and unseen accidental fouls in all sports, but Henry's actions fall into a different category. First, Henry intentionally uses his hand to set up the winning goal, and second, he declines the opportunity to immediately explain that to the ref when he realizes the ref allowed the illegal goal. In my mind, this is the same as when Mike Tyson bit the ear of a boxing opponent (hidden from the ref), or when a pro baseball pitcher uses sandpaper in his glove to scratch up the ball. Classless, stupid, and against every notion of fair play and sportsmanship. The French team should be thoroughly embarrassed to continue in the competition and should resign from the tournament.

    November 20, 2009 at 7:57 pm | Reply
  598. Simon Western

    The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

    World Cup qualification is not determined by one match but is the sum total of all the qualifying matches.

    What Henry did was wrong. But I will only start to take the Irish seriously when any one member of the Irish team comes out to say that they did not have a single incorrect decision made in their favor through out their qualifying campaign. I can bet that even the Irish team knows that they cannot say that with a clear conscience.

    We can talk about using replays for contentious decisions. But that cannot be applied retroactively.

    Rules cannot be conveniently bent only when they favour any one team.

    November 20, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  599. Roll

    Maybe the blame should be placed on the goalkeeper who didn't come off the goal line to punch that ball out or the defense who allowed a world class player to get behind them. Even the Irish captain Keane said he was more upset with his defense for allowing the ball to land uncontested in the 6 yard box. Next time, clear the ball!

    November 20, 2009 at 9:48 pm | Reply
  600. ricky

    It is an unfortunate ERROR!
    Nevertheless, world football is based on the essence of the human being. That is how history is being made in the world of football-starting with the "hand of god" by maradona.

    Sometimes the referees see the mistakes and sometimes not. IT FAVORS YOU, AND SOMETIMES THE OPPOSITE. That is the beauty of the game. it is "A CONTINUES INSTICT".
    We only saw the handball because of the reply, But could you have seen the actual play?
    NO, THAT IS THE SPIRIT OF WORLD FOOTBALL, THAT ESSENCE THAT WE LIVE IN AN IMPERFECT WORLD AND THAT IS WHAT GIVES US THE TRHILL!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Reply
  601. Chris F

    The pitch is so much bigger for Soccer than any other major sport. They need instant replay just for the fact that of the distances involved. This should be a no brainer for an International sport like Soccer. Fifa needs to update.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:37 pm | Reply
  602. Kurt in Ca

    This is exactly the reason many americans will never adopt Soccer (yes, I recognize it as the 'true' football since in history it earned it) as a viable sport. It is stuck in the dark ages and is rife with 'partiality'. FIFA Clings to rules that allow them to "cherry pick' who goes and who does not go.

    What is the disservice to allow recorded review to ensure that 'talent' wins rather then 'hope we don't have a moron as a ref, or worse, a partial judge".

    There is no winner in the World Cup, only a team selected by refs. FIFA proves it with their prehistoric and out dated philosophy.

    November 20, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Reply
  603. calico

    Other sports use video replay (you all know who) NHL NFL Tennis and Rugby.
    So When FIFA & UEFA start using it and they will.

    It can be called the IRELAND EFFECT

    November 21, 2009 at 12:20 am | Reply
  604. Sam Kaz

    Let’s start a campaign to send a barrage of discontented e-mails to FIFA regarding their refusal of improved officiating.

    When are they going to catch up with the 21st. Century technology? What is the reason behind this obstinate refusal?

    November 21, 2009 at 12:33 am | Reply
  605. pramok

    Henry has been gentleman enough to own up the hand ball and thinks rematch would be the best solution to this dispute. However, FIFA's decision has tarnished its image as an International Governing Body. It must come out with fair solution before it loses its appeal morally and the world cup may be over shadowed by such controversies and lose its international appeal totally.

    Pramok
    Kathmandu – NEPAL

    November 21, 2009 at 1:22 am | Reply
  606. Jon-Paul

    Just for the record: Replay and/or the use of electronic devices must at all times be conclusive and beyond any measure of dispute; furthermore, there are also consequences to each team for electing to use replay means for qualification. How many times have we seen or even been told of infractions, game/point fixing, or have seen blatant abuses of replay? Then again on the other hand, it is inevitably going to come down to the referee 'upstairs in the box' for the final outcome of any disputed call. Make no mistake about it – FIFA wants the game as antiquated as possible. Every human being and every organization has their own motives for what lengths they will go to simply to gain an advantage.

    Have we learned nothing from Wall Street, AIG, the White House, Congress, the NFL, or the NBA referees? Where there is humankind and money there will always be some sort of corruption. Face it, it's true.

    November 21, 2009 at 3:15 am | Reply
  607. Sparky

    So I know this is going to be probably the most controversial comment yet but what the hell. The sport has become and remains the most popular in the world because of how its played. There are many decisions which are made which are debatable but ultimately the decision of the referee has always been final. Many questionable offside calls, many fouls which should have been called, penalties etc. Henry is not my favourite player, but he is a great player and I think he, in a moment, did what he had to to keep the play alive. It is not his fault that the referee did not recognize the illegal play and the ruling on the field should stand. You cant change the method by which the game is judged just because the current method didnt work in your favour this time. It is what it is. Henry admitted that he handled the ball. The ref didn't see it. Life goes on.

    November 21, 2009 at 3:47 am | Reply
  608. Paul

    Fifa has messed up here big time. The handballed goal and failure of the referee and ultimately fifa system of not supporting the ground referee with video referees has shown the amateurish nature of an arrogant organisation. If it hadn't happened against the Irish and the French to qualify in such a dishonourable way it would no doubt have happened in another world cup qualifier or worse world cup finals campaign again. If Fifa so wished it could use the video referees only for world cup qualification and finals games. This would limit the logistics needed for lower grade games. To stubbornly stick to an antiquated rule- the referee is Never wrong is dumb and i have to say it arrigant. American football and Rugby both successfully use the video/ microphone technology but FIFA wont. Fifa are pathetic and are a great disservice to World Football. What a Joke!

    November 21, 2009 at 4:05 am | Reply
  609. Cesar

    FIFA will not only NOT ever introduce video technology, but they will keep quiet despite miles and miles of comments we post. Why? They want France (Henry) and Portugal (Cristiano Ronaldo) in South Africa. Consider this: when the Europe WCQ started, the RULE was that the 8 best 2nd-placed teams would play-off for the remaining 4 Europe slots in completely open competition (no seeding). As the groups were ending, it became obvious that France (ex-champions), Portugal (perpetual contenders), Greece (ex-European champions) and Russia (also perpetual contenders) might end up playing each other and knocking each other out. Suddenly, FIFA introduced seeding into the play-offs and seeded exactly those 4. In other words, FIFA changes the rules WHEN IT SUITS FIFA. Replay for Ireland? Sorry, Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Damien Duff will never draw as many spectators and sponsors as Thierry Henry, Frank Ribery and Karim Benzema. It doesn't suit FIFA. Video replays? Sorry, FIFA loses control of what they might want to change or not change in terms of decisions (did they not recently attempt to ban Arsenal's Eduardo for diving on the basis of tv evidence?) Video reviews during games will never happen, not for as long as Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini are in charge there. Maybe they should just reintroduce pig-bladder balls instead of these high-tech branded ones – how's that for "purity of the flow of the game", FIFA?

    November 21, 2009 at 6:43 am | Reply
  610. LookingforJustice

    Football is a sport, and for some, it inspires a fanatisism equal to that of any religious fervor. FIFA is an organisation that is entrusted to keep the sport honest, even if the players sometimes aren't. The referees are entrusted to see it all, and call what they see AT THE TIME IT HAPPENS. The referee didn't see it, the referee didn't call it. Pure and simple: It's over, and there isn't anything we can do to correct it (A referee missing a foul has ended more than a few athletic careers, my own included).

    UNLESS...

    The coaches of both teams, seeing the obvious foul, can agree to what would happen next if the goal was invalid. Replay the last 17 minutes of the game, and if no additional goals are scored, have the required shootout. It becomes a matter of the honor of both teams and their commitment to fair play to a sport both teams claim to love. FIFA should allow the two teams the option to correct this error, and the other teams who are going to Cape Town should play the better team, not the one who got lucky. Right now, no one knows for certain who the better team is, they only know which one was the luckier.

    November 21, 2009 at 7:37 am | Reply
  611. Paul

    If FIFA isn't thinking of a rematch, spectators should boycott the live matches by not travelling to SA and instead watch the live telecast thereby demonstrating the importance of using television replays to take a decision as they do in cricket.

    November 21, 2009 at 9:29 am | Reply
  612. Abdourahmane

    All the important teams are already qualified directly. Neighter Fr or Ir deserved, so stop shouting!
    FIFA must use video replay to avoid this kind of incident.

    November 21, 2009 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  613. Dan

    FIFA does not allow TV replays because it's "too American". Their haughty, ridiculous and outdated sense of "Continental" superiority compromises again and again the integrity and enjoyment of the sport. There should be a worldwide boycott of FIFA, including all qualifying matches and the WC, until it becomes the forward-thinking and progressive body is supposed to be.

    And shame on Henry. Obviously every player will do whatever it takes for his team to win, but to acknowledge his blatant hand ball and then shift all responsibility to the referee is preposterous and worthy of an elementary school kid.

    November 21, 2009 at 1:50 pm | Reply
  614. Dan

    First the referee allows an offside play which is then compounded by a handball? Just how much did the French pay this guy????

    November 21, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  615. wilbee45

    This "no replay review" policy that FIFA continues to uphold is absolute nonsense. It is actually allowing fot the deterioration of world football. I say "allowing," not "causing." What is causing the deterioration is players who cheat. When a player takes an obvious dive in their opponents' penalty area (or anywhere else for that matter) in order to win a PK for their team, that is cheating. When a player purposely handles the ball to his or his own team's advantage, that is cheating. Don't give me that standard melonheaded nonsense, "that's just part of the game." If you think that, you're an idiot. Dishonest cheaters ruin football. FIFA just allows it all to happen. Now, FIFA is to blame becasue they could so easily solve these problems if they would pause for two seconds and check and see if an offense definitely occurred or not. A controversial play should ALWAYS be checked on the monitors. You simply have a panel of people reviewing a play...the ref. makes a two second call "upstairs" on the headset that he is wearing on the field, and get a yea or nea from the reviewers. Think about how FIFA could crack down on all the diving in world football! Cheaters are the Cause; FIFA inadvertantly allows them to flourish. No referee is All-seeing & All-knowing. Forget the ref...hey FIFA, OPEN UP YOUR EYES!!!!!

    November 21, 2009 at 3:00 pm | Reply
  616. Daniel B.

    I am quiet sure that Henry's is not the 1st player to have done such of cheating to qualified his country for Final. There are numerous of time people enfrence the rules and the Referee allowed them to go scott free. Or is it because of the goal and the level that it took France to?
    Also the Refree is not a Computer to glimse at ever fowl been played ont he field. This is the reason why they have Cameras to see what the Refrees did not see to learn from his mistake(s).
    Pleas!! Please Leave Terry Henry eventhou, he admitted of cheating to take France to another Level.

    November 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  617. Ricardo

    Instant replay is what FIFA is after, it means time outs, and money from sponsorship commercials. the reason I like the game , is because the lack of time outs makes the game intense, next the'll let a subsitute come in when a player is tired, then let that same player back in when he is rested, but something has to be done, I say more officials, maybe another referee and two more line judges. if that don't work, then we know there is corruption, and they should all be fired for a fresh start

    November 21, 2009 at 6:58 pm | Reply
  618. Vitor Neves

    Imagine this:
    Mr Platini was arrested. A police officer says he robbed a bank. "Mr. Platini was there, I saw it" said the officer.
    Mr. Platini, in jail, pleads innocent. "It wasn't me, there's some mistake, check the video vigilance cameras."
    Police officer's chief answers: "We, at the police, have more things to do than waste time with video images. And I can't risk my officer credibility to shake. My officer decision´s final. Mr. Platini stays in jail."
    Later on, the bank decides to release the camera footage. There, you can see that the robber it's not Mr.Platini.
    "You see? I told you. It wasn't me! Now, release me!" said Mr.Platini from his cell.
    The police officer chief came out to say: "I don't want to see those images. We don't care about any images. It's our police officers view that rule. Mr. Platini stays in jail.
    We'll keep on refusing any video images on future situations. Officers mistakes are part of the human being."

    November 21, 2009 at 7:18 pm | Reply
  619. RC

    You know what...sorry everyone but that's football. I don't blame Theirry Henry and the ref missed it or didn't call it like so many other calls. It's Irelands mistake that they scored, the handball was just a prelude; the defense gave up and the keeper should have came out more. Also Ireland won a game because of a penalty kick given to them on a really shady call so they should know how both sides feel now. I would hate to see football have "play reviews"...that's a horrible idea. Do you want it like American Football now? Stopping the game every 5 mins? Ruining the continuous play and the tradition of the ref having the last call? Games would become a mockery and a shadow of what they are now. Leave Football the way it is and move on...

    November 21, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  620. Afam kenneth Johnson

    PLEASE GIVE ME SOME BREAK WORSER THINGS HAPPENS BEFORE IN FOOTBALL AND NOBODY IS TALKING ABOUT THEM
    HOW EVERY ONE IS TALKING LIKE IT`S FIRST TIME HAND IS
    USED IN FOOTBALL SORRY IRISH YOU ARE TODAY VICTIM TAKE
    HEART

    November 21, 2009 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  621. Rafa

    Listen,

    ...It is not the NFL, NBA or MLB (where you have Instant Replay) for those of you who love to get brainwashed during a game watching commercials every 20 seconds or during "the Super Bowl" stay with your sport. Instant Replay is not an option nor the Answer. This is why we love and have passion about this game, futbol.
    Henry is no different than every other competitor who wants to win and will do anything to win. He is not the first and will not be the last. France is not going to "man up" nor they should "man up". These are the rules, YOU "MAN UP."

    This will bring more attention to FIFA and I can't wait to watch France in S.A. Don't like it? Keep watching you Instant Replay commercial happy sport! Leave us alone.

    Vamos Mexico!!!

    November 21, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  622. alf4ouk

    FIFA is a disgrace and a joke as the governing body of the worlds biggest sport.

    November 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm | Reply
  623. Chas Kwak

    The wrong guy is FIFA, the body that keeps blind eye on referees that pollute football. Henry cheated but it was up to the referee to punish that illicite behaviour. Despite the protest by the Irish players, he didn't move an inch. This guy (the referee) should not be invited to South Africa. Supporting his action, FIFA is a disgrace to football.

    November 21, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Reply
  624. bernardo k

    an unhappy man again be happy.
    a dead man will never be alive again.

    Ireland lost (just a game) because of an erronous judgement.
    what is it compare to Iraq losing a progressive nation because of bushy lies?

    November 22, 2009 at 12:22 am | Reply
  625. hey!!!!!!! easy on my boy

    Hey Henry was not the referee, he played the game, mistakes happen but it is not up to him.

    it was their lucky day, just wait and see how far that goes.

    November 22, 2009 at 12:51 am | Reply
  626. João

    FIFA seems like it's still working in the 15th century.

    In my opinion the solution is very simple.
    FIFA should organize that game in such a way that there would a 5th referee that would always be watching a TV.
    The 5th referee would only talk if the main referee had any doubt about what decision should be taken – which normally is about once or twice in a game, maximum!..
    (even so there could be an extra rule, for example, that the ref could only ask for the 5th referee's help 5 times a game)
    His TV would have all the possible filming angles. And after a maximum of 20 seconds he would tell the ref what to call. He could tell the main referee straight away (via his headset)...
    Everything would be much fairer

    FIFA seems like it's still working in the 15th century.

    November 22, 2009 at 2:12 am | Reply
  627. Jason

    it over so forget about

    November 22, 2009 at 3:11 am | Reply
  628. Nels H

    You know, though, even if he had rushed to the official to own up to the incident, if none of the match officials witnessed it, the rules wouldn't allow them to do anything in any case. It may have been unsporting, or cheating, and a travesty of a result, but there are four officials involved and they are allowed to communicate. The fact is that the possibility that human error may influence the result is enshrined in the game of football. Tough cookies. It's too bad for Ireland, but that's the way it is and I don't see why anyone is making such a deal about this. If you want cheating there's a lovely wide reaching match fixing scandal unfolding in Europe. That's the stuff the game needs to worry about, not some missed handball call in a World Cup playoff.

    November 22, 2009 at 4:19 am | Reply
  629. Eamonn McDowell

    The whole affair has deeply saddened me. Ironically on the day of the game I had been holding up Henry as a role model to a class of 18-year-old media students; now his reputation lies in tatters.

    In my opinion he has only one course of action left to restore it – tell the French Football Association he will not play for France again unless they agree to a replay. Otherwise his statement that a replay is the only fair option will be seen as a cynical attempt at face-saving and further damage a reputation, which may never recover from this.

    Come on Thierry – stand up and be a man!

    November 22, 2009 at 6:17 am | Reply
  630. J. Borton

    Is football for all the world or for just for some old folks in Geneva who claim they speak for us but, in fact, speak only for themselves. If the majority of fans want to use modern technology to assist referees, why doesn't FIFA?

    November 22, 2009 at 6:55 am | Reply
  631. ify

    Why are we botherıng ourselves over nothing. what ıf we think like this: Blatter betted that france will win with one of his subordinates. They staked a large sum of money and the game turned out like this. Do you then expect Blatter to just give out a replay just like that? No. Something big is at stake!-Blatter's Money!
    A replay would mean that his subordinate would part wıth hıs own money and Blatter loses what he has already gained. So fair play would be unfair to Blatter.Hope you all get the logic because idealy ın such a game( France vs ireland) there should be reply.

    November 22, 2009 at 9:02 am | Reply
  632. Margamoo

    Henry. Part time handball, volleyball and basketball player. Full time cheat.

    November 22, 2009 at 9:59 am | Reply
  633. Sussie

    I said good for you FIFA.

    November 22, 2009 at 10:13 am | Reply
  634. MATT

    By not introducing video replay to football, FIFA maintains total control over the game hence the ability to control results. And if national football federations are not voicing their concern this means that they are accomplices to the biggest fraud in the world of sport. When is anyone going to do so something about this?

    November 22, 2009 at 10:13 am | Reply
  635. Margamoo

    For all you football fans who are angry at FIFA, if you want to make a change we should all email the IFAB and complain. The IFAB is the International Football Association Board – they decide rule changes for the game internationally. The board is made up of The FA (English Football Association), Scottish FA, Wales FA, The Irish FA (Northern Ireland) and FIFA. Each FA has one vote and FIFA has 4 votes – the majority votes decides a rule change. FIFA has to abide by and adhere to any rules set down by the IFAB.

    The board meets every year to decide on rule changes and if we want FIFA to use technology, even after the game, to spot infractions not called by the referee then this is the place to make those changes.

    November 22, 2009 at 10:15 am | Reply
  636. obill

    i dont blame the player,but fifa,i belive this is tthe game the will play at the first affrican world cup,for the affricans not to take the cup,i belive the fifa has tell the world what the are upto,so watch this s,affrican world cup, please dont blame henry,that is football,

    November 22, 2009 at 10:46 am | Reply
  637. Bab

    We should stop blaming people and do the right thing. If FIFA or the refree did not know at the time it happened because TV was not used, they knew the truth now! So what next? "yoiu shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free". The game is still fresh, let justice be done by scheduling a rematch between the two teams concerned. The pain will linger forever if justice is not served just like the one Maradona did to Nigeria almost 25 years ago. (which he hysterically called the hand of God)Posterity will ask us, after we knew the truth, what did we do to correct the anomaly?

    November 22, 2009 at 11:03 am | Reply
  638. Bab

    What else do we need to say? afterall the good French people admitted that this was not a good Victory for them, this is saying it as it is. They confessed they are sad about what happened. If not a good victory, nobody would wage a war over it if it is trashed and a clean victory be sought. FIFA should schedule a re-match for us to belief they meant what they preached.

    November 22, 2009 at 11:15 am | Reply
  639. Will

    BLATTER have a bit of respect for the game and RESIGN.

    November 22, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  640. Laurent

    The whole thing is sad and I fully understand the frustation of the Irish fans. However is it really the first time that a referee's mistake leads to the success of one team i/o another – If I am not mistaken, Ireland benefited of such a mistake in its former match against Georgia and I wonder why Roy Keane did not say something then? Definitly, Henry should have tell something, it would have been heroic ... and totally moronic considering the stakes. Fact is that those kind of mistake during the game made out of reflexes in the fire of the action are part of the game and when you are paid millions to make your team win, it takes extremely courageous people to go to the referee and denounce oneself. Zidane was on of those guys but even him was not free from weaknesses.

    November 22, 2009 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  641. Dave in Indy

    Soccer is a wonderfully archaic game. There seems to be plenty of room to add replay to the game without horribly defacing the flow of the game. Yet there IS something very gritty and real about the simplicity of the game that would be violated with the addition of any of a number of the automated supports that have been bandied-about over the past decade or so.

    Regardless, post match penalties should be applied to such blatant acts of cheating (even moreso the blatant dives, which IMO bring the greatest disrepute to the game).

    November 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  642. SoccerFan

    For those of you who say he should have owned up, would you have done that? Don't expect others to do what you yourself wouldn't. You would tell the referee the truth right then and there, risked being hated in your home country and by your teammates and losing a chance to go to the World Cup? Remember, Henry is getting old and will retire in a few years. Also, Ireland got into that match with France do to another controversial call so you can't say that Ireland deserved to go either.

    November 22, 2009 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  643. frenshie no more

    thierry henry must be boo-ed off the stadium during the world cup. He should not have told the ref. that it was a handball.

    November 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm | Reply
  644. joseph

    i play the game and as a player we know just to play the whistle. Everyone always gets their chances to slip away from a call, thats just the reality of it. That was terrible reffing and video replay should be put into affect even if that means a card will be givin if a call is challenged and is wrong about it. (like football) but fifa will never do it because there is to much money involved in these matches with to much maffia paying off the officials. Its obvious but thats just the way it always has been. People have to understand its not america over there and the way of life is much different. It is not the nhl or nfl.

    November 22, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Reply
  645. Feim

    Irelands dream was turned into a nightmare. I can not imagine the guilt Henry is having. Replay its good for the sport and fans . I admire what NFL achieved by using replay to make a good judgement.Once again FIFA has proved to be a corrupted organization.

    November 22, 2009 at 6:40 pm | Reply
  646. jaq

    This is why american football, hockey, baseball, even basketball (i believe) DO use the video replay to resolve disputed calls. Technology works. It's been around for YEARS, why NOT use it?

    November 22, 2009 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  647. nadia alfred wardy

    well, this is not related to the very upseting french/irish issue which is strongly questioning the fifa fair play motto....
    i am sending a short message re the match that really meant a lot to me and every egyptian ... algeria won fine no problem .... but are you serious about blaming egyptians about what happened after the match ???? unbeleiveable
    we lost faith in so many things and now the fifa ! too bad.

    November 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Reply
  648. John

    We can draw a number of conclusions from the recent re-appearance of the ‘Hand of god:’
    1. Players are permitted to use their hands in controlling the ball. The proper procedure for this is for a team member to obstruct the view of the referre, or to distract the referee.
    2. Game rules are of no value. If you cannot win the game by the rules, then you can win by cheating. We might as well have no game rules and do away with the referees.
    3. FIFA is not fit to govern football.
    4. Players, especially stars, no longer have any respect left for the game.

    November 22, 2009 at 8:58 pm | Reply
  649. MWalks71

    There ought to be a World-Wide petition in favour of video replays. The principle of having correct judgement should exist in EVERY sport. It is DECEPTIVE to allow a cheating player or team to represent ANY country at world-class level, it supports condones corruption, providing a bad example to any. It was a purely a political decision not to command the match be replayed, purely political to allow the goal that would send a 3-time World Cup winning team to South Africa. Now what happens in future games if a referee HAPPENS to be looking the other way and the same occurence repeats itself??? When will the "governing" body (FIFA) step in???

    November 22, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  650. Jurgen

    Love it. Hate it. That's football

    November 22, 2009 at 9:20 pm | Reply
  651. GottaLoveTheGuinness

    Having seen the replay, I can't think of a better argument for instant replay. Living in America you see it in the NFL, MLB and it works. I understand the human element in any sporting event, and having replay allows for corrections. Nothing is worse than have a game lost because of referee mistakes. I remember the 1999 NFL season when the Bucs and Rams played the NFC Championship and the Bucs lost because of a blown call. All I can tell Irish football fans is that this time around just cheer for any team that plays against France (even if it means cheering for England) and hope France gets knocked out early. Karma will be on Ireland's side.

    November 22, 2009 at 9:57 pm | Reply
  652. Will

    Just boycott the betting and you'll see how they hear us then. Blatter, Platini, Domenech, Trapattoni, Henry and the refs (maybe the French too) like their CASH too much.

    November 22, 2009 at 11:15 pm | Reply
  653. caca

    Im not french but come on let it go messi scored from the hand like a year ago im italian and its americans who make a big deal so stop.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:02 am | Reply
  654. Howie

    Then let's replay the World Cup that England stole from Germany!

    November 23, 2009 at 1:38 am | Reply
  655. Irish Samurai

    Well, it should be obvious...the lack of video replay makes it easier for crooked bought and paid for officials to let things like this 'slip by'. Replay would eliminate the possibility of refs on the take influencing the outcome of major games and FIFA couldnt have that now could they?

    November 23, 2009 at 2:34 am | Reply
  656. jrszhor

    maybe the ref did see the handball?!

    November 23, 2009 at 4:40 am | Reply
  657. charles

    Africans have suffered the same fate and we have been crying for God knows how long about the impartiality of some referees but FIFA and other countries kept a deaf ear. Nice to see you guys taste a piece of that cake and get the feeling too. Its painful when you are the victim right.

    November 23, 2009 at 4:56 am | Reply
  658. Jorge

    CALM DOW PEOPLE!!!!
    It is not the end of the world! It is not the end of Irish team! it is not the las World Cup!!!
    So many people here seems to have an opinion about this particular fault(shame), but how many of you watch football(sorry, i am portuguese) every weekend?!?!? This is not the firs time and will not be the last, and believe it or not is part of our sport. for those who play, they know what i am talking about!
    i am sure the qualification did not start on the last game, also i am sure this is not the only mistake from the players and ref. so enjoy the game with all the imperfections and stop whining about this!
    Can you imagine cameras in all the sports played around the world, all the games and all the stops.....and who said the sports are fair?!!!!
    see you guys in SA

    November 23, 2009 at 5:06 am | Reply
  659. Peter

    I think that people need to forget about it. I hate these calls for technology in the game, i think the human error is what makes the game authentic. Its the officiating staff's responsibility to make these calls and they have failed. I think this is very unfortunate for Ireland, but these things happen, there are countless other things more unfair in this world. If you want technology then play a video game.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:40 am | Reply
  660. jbm23

    It is a shame and massive source of frustration for Ireland to lose like this, but things like this happen in football. Regardless of the overall justice of the situation, it is certainly not Henry's fault. To turn himself in, nice that it might be, would be a travesty of competitive spirit. Blown calls are a part of the game, deal with it. Having TV replay might be nice in a few select situations like this, but overall would be a negative because it would interrupt the flow of the game, which in football is much more important than in Baseball or American Football. How many things could be brought into question in every game? No, better just to let the players play, and the refs ref to the best of their abilities. For the most part, they do an excellent job.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:57 am | Reply
  661. Rahul

    I dont agree with your probability calculations Alex. You say that if france would have been denied the goal, even then there was no surety that Ireland could have won that game. How can you say that Alex? How can you talk about something that didnt even happened. In case of No-Goal, there was as much no surety of Ireland winning this game as much of
    France to win it. And going by your possibility theory, it might have been also possible for Ireland to even win the World Cup. Lets only talk about the fact and the fact is a country, its people, sport fans have been left shattered by this. Lets not talk about possibilities here

    November 23, 2009 at 7:59 am | Reply
  662. Deuce

    New idea.

    It is highly unlikely that FIFA will ever change their laws, rulings, ways of working, etc. I don't see them ever going to "instant replay"-type video referencing for crucial calls, simply because of the interruption to play it would cause on the field. In a sense, they're right – one of the allures of football is its continuous action. Yet, the game needs to be made more honest.

    So, FIFA should put rules in place which put more focus on honesty from the players, something along the line that intentional cheating by the player can result, post-match, in fines and bans from play. For example in the Henry case, that he knowingly, deliberately handled the ball and did not report such to the referree, should result in a fine from FIFA and a ban from play in, say, the next 2 or 3 World Cup matches for France (an arbitrary number used just as example). Whether an infraction is intentional or accidental isn't then at issue – it is the fact that the player knew they committed an infraction, the referree did not make the correct call, and the player failed to provide the information to the referree which would have otherwise enabled him to make the correct call.

    Put the penalty on the players and make them start playing more honestly. For international football stars like Henry who earn millions of dollars annually in both salaries and endorsements, a little fortitude and honesty isn't a lot to ask.

    November 23, 2009 at 9:34 am | Reply
  663. Arvind

    Am neither French nor Irish but this is ridiculous. It's time for allowing replays. In today's day and age, the technlology is there to overrule with conviction.
    Memo to FIFA: Please emerge from the dark ages or relinquish your posts.

    November 23, 2009 at 9:51 am | Reply
  664. Tony Gartland

    No one ever said we (Ireland) would go through. People are forgetting that there would have been a penalty shoot-out. Everybody would have been happy for this, irrespective of the final outcome; At least it would have been a fair crack at the whip. LLoris saved France at least half a dozen time over both matches. Anelka dived, What people are peeved over is the SECOND tap of the ball by Henry. The first, could be blamed on instinct and eventually forgiven. But the second was a concious deliberate action.
    Had it gone to penalties, and Ireland lost, we (the Irish) would be dissapointed, but satisfied that it was fair.
    Note also the behaviour of the Irish fans AFTER the match. Unlike the Algerians, we didn't go on the rampage. Shouldn't we be congratulated for OUR sense of fair play and grace in defeat? Not sure how other nations fans (including France) would have reacted to the same incidents

    November 23, 2009 at 11:51 am | Reply
  665. Oskard

    I understand the outrage from every soccer fan, but every one has to remember that this is the first or last incident that happened in soccer; to my opinion i think that soccer will be better without replay, that what make soccer different than any other sports......again i am not defending FIFA or Henry's handball, i just make want to point out why soccer is soccer and its rules and/or regulations.

    November 23, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  666. lekan lawal

    FIFA can only underestimate peoples opinion at its own peril. the whole world is in support of a rematch. So why can't we have it ?afterall without spectators there is no football.the wind blows no good until Blatter rights the wrong.

    November 23, 2009 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  667. Antoine

    One should wonder why in 2009 the FIFA still does not want to use video replay? Their arguments against the use of video replays are very weak and the 2006 Italian football scandal should be reminded to everyone. It is clear that there is a lot of money involved in the Football business, and some special interests will always prefer the possibility for "human" mistakes.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:00 pm | Reply
  668. Gurufootball

    Forget video replay, even for just crucial calls. IT’s JUST A GAME once you start video replay for just crucial calls, all soon will become crucial calls and the flow of the game will be interrupted. In any given match there are questionable calls made, in part based on the viewer’s perspective. I have yet to see a perfect game called. I’m quite happy with teams doing their best this includes the team of refs. In regards to players so called “cheating” it’s also part of the game. I don’t blame great players like CR9 for diving. If you are the constant target of rough stuff that can cause you injury, I would dive to keep players second guessing about being called on a penalty. Damn right IT’s JUST A GAME.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:30 pm | Reply
  669. Supo Adebayo

    So the goal should not have been allowed. I agree. But who will speak for the Georgian team when the referee, in what what will go down as one of the most outrageous call in the history of football, awarded a dubious penalty to this same Irish team against the Georgians. I don't recall that the Irish called for a replay. Please. The Irish team lost. End of story. They don't have my sympathy that's for sure. These things happen in football and it's part of the game. What goes around comes around.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:34 pm | Reply
  670. Gurufootball

    Which is why Jaq I don’t watch American sports. Every 5 minutes there is a commercial cut.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:40 pm | Reply
  671. Blaze

    The fault isnt on Henry he was playing the game whistle to whistle you dont just stop playing because of a handball you play till the whistle blows. The refs are to blame not Henry.

    November 23, 2009 at 2:45 pm | Reply
  672. joey keener

    please just a note:

    please dont anyone quote the penalty non event with anelka as lucky for irish lest you reveal ur ignorance and possibly yr americanness..........

    November 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm | Reply
  673. rickjames

    I think that the game should be replayed, because henry even admitted that it was a hand ball... so they should just replay the game and see who really deserves to go to SOUTH AFRICA.....

    November 23, 2009 at 4:34 pm | Reply
  674. M Majors

    Again, the most over rated team in the world advances on the cheap, what else new. But don't blame them, blame FIFA, and blame that blind referee!

    November 23, 2009 at 5:10 pm | Reply
  675. WorldCitizen

    It's quite unfortunate that this happened the way that it did, however we must remember that this isn't American football. The margin of error from referees has always existed in soccer and that unpredictabililty still makes the game what it is today. So much fuss is being made simply because it's France and Henry, we must all remember " the referees' decision is final"...thats futbol...if you're not satisfied with that I suggest you switch to the NFL.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  676. ARGH

    Pretty easy answer - restart the game from the time of the infraction. Play the remaining time, into OT if needed, and then a PK shoot out if necessary. No need to replay the entire game. All the questions and statements and surveys on whether to replay the game is media hysteria - just restart from the time of the foul. Simple.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:36 pm | Reply
  677. Football_fan1

    This stuff happens all the time, but the real blame should not be on the player, but rather the referee who did not call the violation. Players will try to get away with stuff when they can, but thos ewho have the whistle should be calling them out when they are in violation of the rules...FIFA should reprimand the referees in that game and issue an apology to Ireland and that should end it...no need for a rematch! However, there should be a change that allows those making calls on the field to review controversies and take action when needed at that time before play resumes.

    November 23, 2009 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  678. ARGH

    Looking further at the replays, it appears a French attacker was in the offside position when the ball was played from a free kick - to the point the player was in on the action as the ball fell to the end line. So now you have possbily two points to argue that the goals should never have been permitted.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:55 pm | Reply
  679. Daniel Browne

    Henry did nothing wrong. He simply played as any true soccer player would. A competitor leaves everything he has on the field. Any judgment calls are up to the ref. If the ref doesn't see it, it never. happened. Soccer doesn't need instant replay. Instant replay would compromise the pace of the game. If Ireland wanted to make sure they made the World Cup, they should have won other games/scored more goals against France. If Ireland truly deserved to move on, they would have played BETTER.

    November 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  680. Siros

    Totally disagree with instant-replay, it will ruine the game. There should be severe punishment when a player commits such acts, this will be a good deterence. Henry has made several other acts like this, one was a "dive" that was missed and resulted in a penalty.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:00 pm | Reply
  681. Romeu

    I believe it was in Italy this year when a goalie signalled to the referee that he had touched the ball. The referee reverted the goal kick to a corner kick. But first he ran over to the goalie and shook his hand. It's a shame that I don't remember their names but will definitely remember Thierry Hand-ry. At least the Irish can hold their heads up high. I will definitely honor them on St. Patrick's Day. FIFA should be ashamed. But this isn't something new. Peru lost amazingly by 8-0 to Argentina and the latter went to the final against Holland in '78.

    November 23, 2009 at 7:35 pm | Reply
  682. Cardwell L.

    Where was this outcry last Champions League season when Gerard Pique's hand ball "Handed" Barcelona a victory over Chelsea!?
    But still each team should be allowed 1 TV replay call much like American Football uses a replay system. FIFA and UEFA need to step into the Modern World... Go Chelsea!

    November 23, 2009 at 9:26 pm | Reply
  683. Unhappy

    I hope they loose out of the cup during the early stages. They have no reason to be there. The team shouldn't let him play. But then once more it is France after all, they do tend to think they are above everyone else in the world......lets let them keep thinking its got them real far

    November 23, 2009 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  684. SoundersFC fan

    Henri is not to blame. He is human. How many of you have not pushed the boundaries when you've played to see how much you can get away with? That is his job. After the game he admitted he handballed it and is not happy with the result. I've played in games where one of my teammates or the team we were playing admitted to an infraction during the game and the ref didn't change his call. The fault lies with the refs. They have final say. One of the three of them should have been in position to see it. Obviously, they were the ones that 'dropped the ball.'

    November 23, 2009 at 10:08 pm | Reply
  685. Darcy Vernier

    Soccer flows, with a minimum of stoppages, which has hurt its commercial potential for TV. But it has to flow. Having video replays would stop all the action, and then how do you restart? In this case would it be a throw in for Ireland because the ball would "maybe" have gone out? Don't stop the flow. Live with the system. Stuff happens in soccer, like in life.
    If it is such a big deal, replay the game.

    November 24, 2009 at 12:27 am | Reply
  686. tijoy

    Using replay in soccer will be disaster , image refere holding up play for a tackle inside the box and the opposite team have the ball , ready for a counter attack... Holding up play for replay will kill the whole idea of counter -attacking football..

    To err is human , may it be refere or the player ... After all it's game for humans not for robots .. These are all part of the game , some times it favors you and at times it's against you .. Ireland have benefited from refering mistakes in past , so no point in whining .. Move along...

    November 24, 2009 at 12:34 am | Reply
  687. Xavi

    WorldCitizen – "So much fuss is being made simply because it's France and Henry"..? Are you for real? English are still reeling over Maradona's hand of god and are quick to forget the greatest goal ever scored in a World Cup by the same man.
    I recall a world cup match between Spain and South Korea where 3 LEGAL goals were disallowed by the referees and later Korea scoring, kicking Spain out. Do you think that is fair? God knows how many other games where such poor refereeing has resulted in unfair match results.
    These such goals CAN be allowed or prevented by replay and a fairer decision can be approached.
    But then again cameras can't reveal if a referee has been bought like what has been recently discovered on match fixing with German and Austrian clubs etc.
    So the question I ask is how far deep are we with refereeing problems?
    What has FIFA done to overt such issues?
    What will FIFA DO to improve them game from a refereeing AND players point of view to promote what FIFA like to coin "FIFA FAIR PLAY".
    Bottomline to me is FIFA is becoming more corrupt, full of hipocritical decisions run by suits who know nothing of the true essence of the game (except for Platini who forgot about the game). BLATTER MUST GO!

    November 24, 2009 at 1:04 am | Reply
  688. Lidya

    Henry was graceful he did admit his fault he didn't deny touching the ball. As a player it is not your job to stop the game and card yourself it is referee's job. The referee missed it but you can count on it France is much more stronger team than Ireland that is a fact. I wish they can rematch this but they won't. It won't take anything from Henry he is one hell of futball player period...... Viva Sud Africa

    November 24, 2009 at 1:20 am | Reply
  689. okradski

    well people that is football. This things are part of the game. Henry can't be blamed because i have never seen a football player taking the blame for something the ref missed. i am aware that refs have more sympathy for the big football countries because i come from a country not well known in the football world and i don't mind this because when we beat a favorite it is much sweeter knowing that even the refs were on 'their side'

    November 24, 2009 at 1:51 am | Reply
  690. Naija boy

    WE CANNOT do replays in football (soccer) or use cameras. what is the sport turning into? American football. ...... i understand how the irish are feeling but thats just soccer. thats the way it is. the referee's decision is final. thats the way the game is. Henry did not do anything wrong as a soccer player i will do the same. France we will see you in SA....

    November 24, 2009 at 2:28 am | Reply
  691. JuventusFan

    It is simple. It all revolves around simple economics. During the World cup, France will Generate over 1.1 billion dollars , and the Irish GOD LOVE THEM, will only generate 200 million.

    So fifa gets who they want. $$$$$$$$$

    Cheating French!

    November 24, 2009 at 5:18 am | Reply
  692. Pepe Le Pew

    C'mon....this is Soccer not NFL to use tv replays, ok lets put it this way; what if it was the other way around...I'm sure that FIFA officials will vote for a replay just to put France in the World Cup. I saw a comment about "France not being in the World Cup"...it's not the end of the world it's just like when Brasil didn't won the World Cup .....This is not fair Ireland should ask for a replay and I wish they should leave the French cheaters out of South Africa for good...I'm happy because my country is in South Africa already...Chao!

    November 24, 2009 at 7:09 am | Reply
  693. Julien

    Henry is right

    C'est la problem de l'arbitre. That's for sure.

    Most professional players used to do this like Henry.
    Do not blame it on Henry.

    If one of the Irish players had made similar action like Henry, their responses would have been different. So to speak, not be panic and just see quietly.

    I think that the anglophone media like CNN seems to deliberately make enlargment of this case, I would like to ask CNN including other english media to calm down. This sort of bac call is made anytime, anywhere in the World. The Call should be the part of the game.

    November 24, 2009 at 7:31 am | Reply
  694. Pakom

    Lets not all be over righteous...Henry cant take all the blame here, It was a spur of the moment, it happenes in football, sometimes you do unintentional things, most of the times its spotted, sometimes its not.

    People are calling for henry's head...why? He admitted it didnt he? Maradonna never admitted till the early 2000's something we all very well knew...so why are we still on Henry's case?

    Why havent we heard the referees name or his assistant?

    It happened, as unfortunate it might be, but this must be the most influential thing that has happened to football, it has changed the face of football forever, FIFA will have to change to survive, unfortunately Ireland was the sacrifice.

    November 24, 2009 at 10:42 am | Reply
  695. Jimbo

    Henry's reaction to play the ball with his hand was purely instinct. As a proffesional player he then made the pass when the ball fell to his feet. It is the referee's fault for not calling the handball, and nobody else's. Henry is a great player and there is no way that this play should affect his reputation. FIFA could add instant replay to cover certain referee calls, but this may slow the game down immensly. All in all too much is being made of this.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:00 am | Reply
  696. vasilios /Greece

    It is time to use the same system as it is used in the basketball and the refery to be advised from the third refery who has look at the monitor

    November 24, 2009 at 11:11 am | Reply
  697. 4la

    Humm, I think this is a forgotten issue! I am not a french nor an Irish. Stop blaming Henry,the guy acted under tension and anybody can do that .And I think its the replay that made it so gruesome..........mind you,this is slow motion picture

    November 24, 2009 at 11:48 am | Reply
  698. Unbiased

    "And please try not to use this sports event to use the old anti-French contempt a lot of Anglo-Saxons just can"t snap out of since 2003..."

    It's very obvious that this is exaclty what is happening here.
    Let's be honest, there have been many injustices committed in the sport throughout time, and it has ALWAYS resulted in the same outcome- Better luck next time.

    So before you go blaming the french team or henry, look in the history of your own team, whomever you support, and I can GUARANTEE you will find a similar story somewhere along the way.

    That's the way the sport goes. Do i think it's fair? No, and i think it's about time cameras are used.

    i don't blame the ref or linesmen either, they are human, it is not unfathomable that they could have missed a call. I do believe that FIFA is to blame for not implememting the available technology so these types of inicidents don't happen,

    HOWEVER, i dont think that france should be made to replay the game, and I don't believe they should be austracized for not appealing to replay the match.

    AGAIN, many injustices have happened with every team in the past, it's unfair, but unfortunately, its the way the game has been played, until FIFA comes to its senses and itroduces instant replay.

    Stop criticising Henry, if anything, many players would not even have owned up to it. Stop blaming france because of your personal anti-french sentiments and using this as an excuse to spew out hatred. Given the same chance, Ireland or ANY other nation/players would have done the same. integrity is not always present (or expected) in this sport, which is why there are referees.

    It was a tough lost, but only FIFA is to blame

    November 24, 2009 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  699. Tim

    There should be no replay in the game of soccer...period. If replay were to be introduced it will ruin the game. I pride myself on being a soccer player at a highly competitive level and relish the fact that replay is not a part of the game. I pride myself on the ability to be fit for a long period of time and to be able to sustain injuries and bruises and tackles and not have to call a timeout or take a break because of a 2min replay over a tackle or offsides call or questionable goal.

    If one has played soccer at any level, one realizes the game gives and the game takes away. France may have made it into the World Cup by a blatant handball by a very good athlete, but I guarantee the game will not reward France in the future. It's just how the ball bounces.

    Another issue needs to be brought up...first off...any defender should know...Henry should have never gotten behind the defense at the end line in a through ball that was played into the box. Ireland defenders should be more savvy.

    To conclude, no replay, no replay. FIFA no replay. I will be embarrassed for the "Worlds Game" if FIFA even entertains the thought of introducing replay to the game of soccer. NO REPLAY!

    November 24, 2009 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  700. WorldCitizen

    Xavi- Good point! Howerver, you have to understand that introducing camera replays into the game, you'll always have to stop the game and review one thing or the other. How do you regulate what is of more importance? An illegal goal, an illegal tackle that no one saw, a save that did'nt happen? Like I said, it's quite unfortunte that this happened, but it happenes. You might as well punish every player that commits an offence and puts both hands up in denial (every player). If we had to pause and check everything it would make the game worth watching.

    November 24, 2009 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  701. sangpo

    ERROR HAPPENS IN EVERY GAME. SO, NOBODY SHOULD BE BLAMED. COZ ' THERE IS A RULE FOR EVERY GAME AND WE SHOULD RESPECT IT.

    November 24, 2009 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  702. pramok

    Its not the individual player, but the incident and issue which has now become a global issue – is FIFA going to look into this case which will haunt football world . If it doesn't, then the chair of current President of FIFA is at stake !

    November 25, 2009 at 12:28 am | Reply
  703. Manny da Silva.

    FIFA cannot claim to uphold relevant values to the game of football.

    Fair Play is not being pursued or practised. Having a tyrant as their President augers badly for the game.

    He is arrogant enough to believe that South Africa will now be eternally indebted to him for the forthcoming world cup.

    Football technology is now of the utmost importance.

    November 25, 2009 at 11:59 am | Reply
  704. Mark

    Look this is plain and simple enough. For all those who disagree with the idea of using video technology all I have to say is that the whole idea of using said technology is to make sure that the right calls are made on the pitch. Period. And in response to people like Ajisola from Nigeria, its just comon sense. Yes you cant have a video camera at every football game on earth but for a competion at this level, of this magnitude, you cannot be serious in telling me that FIFA can't afford the use of video technology. Just in case you did not catch that, here is the clue " WORLD CUP" As in world wide level. Also, like I stated earlier, the idea is to make the right call, not the wrong call or something that appears to be the right call. FIFA needs to wake up and adjust its thinking as a whole because what happened between France and Ireland is just embarassing.

    November 25, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Reply
  705. Mark

    Sangpo,
    thats just a dumb excuse. FiFA has a habit of saying one thing doing something else. Yes mistakes do happen and video replay wont completely solve everything but it definately would have caught two players been offside and another player comitting a foul or shall i say a hand ball twice in one play. FIFA (we) need to get things like this right.

    November 25, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  706. Mark

    Kumfi Jonathan,
    i Couldn't agree more. Excellent points. Truth be told how is what Thiery did different from a player taking a dive in the box? Same thing if you ask me. And the fact that he admitted to it at the end of the game and then try blaming the ref for not making the call is absurd. All that is saying is that its ok to cheat either knowingly or unknowingly and if you don't get caught then its ok. I am not saying he always cheat in every game but on that night, im sorry he cheated.

    November 25, 2009 at 1:12 pm | Reply
  707. OL

    Corruption in betting is destroying the beautiful game of football. Injustice such as the suspension of Didier Drogba for getting angry at the referee and the silence of FIFA when Drogba got a yellow card for being booted in the chest and the rudeness and silence of FIFA after the unfortunate event of last week’s game (france vs Ireland).
    But who is the head of FIFA? It is a Frenchman: Michel Platini.
    Where there is French, there is injustice, corruption and bad management.
    Get rid of this French to save the beautiful game.

    November 25, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  708. HOPE

    PRESEDNT, FIFA, REFEREE, COACH , FOOTBALLPLAYER, FANS, pratice what you preach ( TO FIGHT CORRUPTION ) to save football game now and for tomorrow, I give HENRY a fine of $1,000. and not to play (2 ) worldcup seasons for showing bad example.( BAD EXAMPLE = TORCHING THE BALL WITH HIS HAND 2 TIMES. )

    November 25, 2009 at 1:21 pm | Reply
  709. Camargos.

    Is so dificult for one went on Henry's behave. Around the world there many cases of cheat. Than if FIFA should to use videos in order to improve the justice on soccer matches, the FIFA must have to change the human behaves either. Everyone had made a mistake in your lifes.Than it's the worst human characteristic. But we had to deal with the best huaman actions whose are regret and pardon.However, if France win any match on the 2010 wold cup, might nobody in the world will agree on give Hanry his pardon. Sory!!!

    November 25, 2009 at 5:43 pm | Reply
  710. Amstrong

    Forgotten the hand of God so soon? or Diego Maradona?...why give a good dog a bad nameto kill it...it happens every day..human error they call it remeber?

    November 25, 2009 at 8:40 pm | Reply
  711. KZ

    i wonder this kind of comments people are making.several teams or players have got favours based on referee's errors/mistakes.The statement made by people that FIFA is corrupt and wanted france to qualify is quite beside the point.Are u saying FIFA asked Henry to use hand to hold the ball? or the game pre-planned?It's an absolute truth tha no team will ever be happy to be eliminated out of a competition based on referee's blatant error but this doesn't mean u start calling a player involved names .There are lots of deceitful acts in football like diving,or imagine a player that plays ball out of the pitch and still asking referee for throw in or corner in his advantage.What will u call this? This's why referee,assistants are there to control all these.The whole world knows how it pains but then it's time we stopped calling Henry names.He doesn't deserve this.Blame the referee!

    November 26, 2009 at 5:33 am | Reply
  712. damini

    It is nonesense and nonesensica for football fans in the world to start laying blames on the world footballer, knowing the right persons to channel such blames to.
    Things go wrong all the time in football, terrible errors especially by the centre referee. pl I beg, make una liv thierry alone.

    November 26, 2009 at 8:27 am | Reply
  713. maxwell aigberadion

    Stop crying like a baby Irish fans, have you forgotten the hand of God by Maradona, as I can recall fifa did not order a replay between Argentina and Britain.

    November 26, 2009 at 9:00 am | Reply
  714. Jeff

    This is getting bored... We all know that the FIFA will not change anything and France will be in SA like nothing happened.
    At FIFA it's never about the fans, but only about themselfs and commercial interests.

    November 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  715. Herman

    What a travesty for Ireland. if they do not come to a replay it will take away the meaning of football, and all future world cups, 2010 will not be the same when Ireland got screwed by the French handball.

    A Holland supporter from Canada.

    November 27, 2009 at 4:39 am | Reply
  716. Christer Friberg

    The French are cheaters, we see it all the time in sports, whether tis soccer or rugby. They ruin the sports with their lack of integrity. But, what do we do about it when FIFA don't take action. It is all disgusting, when sports are supposed to jon people not divide into those who play by the rules and those who don't.

    I suggest we divide up sports into two groups, those who care and those who don't care about honor and ethics.

    November 27, 2009 at 4:58 am | Reply
  717. ian

    On Match of the day, Alan Hanson actually said it was 'instinctive' for Henri to handle the ball. Even a 5 year old knows that you can't touch the ball with your hand in soccer. How can an ex player be so stupid to make such a comment ? Clearly the 'instinct' should be to move your hand AWAY from the ball, not to handle it ?

    Everyone who has even played even on the street knows you can't touch the ball with your hand. Therefore, Henri intentionally cheated. What kind of message are FIFA sending ? Fire Blatter and fire Platini right now. Boycot the SA finals so these greedy scumbag businessmen don't ruin the beautiful game for generations to come. Disgracefull and shameful.

    November 27, 2009 at 5:30 am | Reply
  718. bernardo k

    Come on,Maradona demolished England single handedly.
    He admitted to the hand of god to successfully spike and antogonise the English.
    Go review that game,pathetic England could'nt hv won anyway.

    November 27, 2009 at 7:06 am | Reply
  719. Yan

    frnace ...france...oh right, africa's colony..formely known as france...that team is a joke..not one real frenchman on that team..not one represents french values..i would be ashamed of cheering for that team

    November 27, 2009 at 7:46 am | Reply
  720. bapu rasta

    One of the good things about this sport, and a reason for things not to change, is the fact that sometimes players can get away with these fouls. It makes the sport more interesting and it separates it from the rest of the sports. Perhaps it's too much of a "European" philosophy of life for people used to strict rules and replays, but that's what this sport is like. Love it or leave it!

    November 27, 2009 at 8:33 am | Reply
  721. Whiny Irish

    For the love of all that is holy, it's unbeliveable how all Irish think they're the first and only country to ever be hard done by. "in such dark times" is also one of the most whiny, self centered comments I have ever read. How has Ireland had it harder than any other country?

    I really hope they never allow video assistance, it would ruin the game and give us something closer to American Football and all it's silly "1min play – 1 min break" rubbish.

    And how is it that Ireland got "robbed"? At best you were equal with the french after full time, not winners. But victimizing yourself seems to be an Irish national sport, even more than hurling...

    November 27, 2009 at 8:46 am | Reply
  722. Mike Cote D'Ivoire

    Crime committing is part of human life and activities, in as much as one is not caught and judge by the law, we are all innocent and law-abiding people. This implice that as much as Henry was not caught by neither the referee nor his assistances, Henry has done nothing bad and Les Bleus merit their ticket for the world cup, sometimes the brawn may be subtituted by brain whith Henry applied to qualify the French. Anyway, Dominech Ramond worths changed as the French coach as he is nothing but a figure of no impart for the French Football anyway, we heard the french football body is owing him something we can't understand perhaps just like the Africas, I guess

    November 28, 2009 at 1:03 pm | Reply
  723. Kimathi

    Really shameful for the person of reputation and football skills as Henry could do a thing like blatant handling of the ball and then blame the referee for not spotting it when he said he is not the ref.

    His reputation has fallen, his endorsements should be lost and I will not want to see him advertise anything, and this shame will follow him. I saw him play in the champions league for Barca and I said there is the 'cheat'

    November 28, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Reply
  724. Victorya

    As a life-long fan of fútbol (I am brazilian), I was astonished by FIFA allowing this to happen. It's time for them to become part of the 21st century and use replay. Sorry Ireland, maybe next time?

    November 29, 2009 at 12:05 am | Reply
  725. SERGIO RUIZ

    Guys Maradonna did it and still is one the greatest players ever play the game of football.Now if Henry did it or not or cheat it.. that's the game and that's why football has human referees not computers, replays and referees all over the places to judge a play or give a feedback... please DONOT allowed to used replay in football that would KILL the game.
    And France deserves to be in the World Cup beacause their the Champione and they have to give evrything in the field to return home with that cup....

    November 29, 2009 at 5:15 am | Reply
  726. Alex V

    As an amateur referee this is a disgrace to a referee when you miss something this big and have the player himself tell you that he handled the ball. The referee should have been in a better position and talked to his assistants before calling it a goal. When you have 11 players+coach and all of the Irish fans yelling at you there is obviously something wrong.

    I do believe it was an instinct even though you know you can't touch the ball with your hands. I am also a player and on several occasions I have done things without thinking about the consequences. All of you saying that Henry is a cheater have never played soccer. How many of you have said or done something at the moment without thinking and turned out to be a bad decision?

    November 30, 2009 at 2:07 am | Reply
  727. Katie

    I think that the great thing about soccer is that there is no replay. Adding replay would only Americanize the world's game. Everyone is so quick to blame Henry.. but as a player you do everything possible to win for your team and country. Maradona was not scrutinized like this and is a national hero for his hand of God. I see Henry as a hero.

    November 30, 2009 at 4:31 am | Reply
  728. Don L

    The lack of replays is the only way FIFA can continue to influence the outcome of matches. FIFA will never consent to replays. France miss the WC? Never, even if the officials have to ignore two french players offside and two handballs by Henry – all in one play.

    November 30, 2009 at 11:31 pm | Reply
  729. HummyT

    Well,we have the reaction from Henry everytime in matches.The referee and his Assistants did not catch the scene.I understand the anger of the irish fans.Fifa would have ordered a replay of the match.
    I also wanted Ireland to make it to SA. We don't have to forget that this is football not war.Ireland will make it to 2014!

    December 1, 2009 at 7:36 am | Reply
  730. bernardo k

    the stuff in ireland itself will determine whether it will make it to 2014.
    ireland conveniently demanding for a special spot in S. Africa just because it thinks that it has lost unfairly, shows that it will not make it to 2014.

    December 1, 2009 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  731. Crystal

    It is unfortunate that this happened but that is the way that soccer is. I am sure that many soccer players out there have been in the same position where a ref did not make the right call or simply didnt make a call at all.we have to deal with it. It is part of the game. It is horrible for ireland. And this is no way henry's fault. He couldn't exactly stop playing and say please call the handball! This is not the first time that this happens and it will not be the last it comes with playing the game. Henry isnt proud of the hand-ball but he isnt exactly going to take the full blame,. As fas as adding replay to soccer i do not agree. The game would never end ppl would keep asking for replays and replays. Soccer is what it is.

    December 1, 2009 at 6:57 pm | Reply
  732. Fred E.

    You can't blame Henry for doing what looked like an instinctive reaction while he was trying to keep the ball in play. Football players are instructed to play until the whistle blows. He acknowledged the handball, and I doubt he had any malicious intentions.

    Still, too bad for Ireland.

    December 1, 2009 at 9:06 pm | Reply
  733. Irish American

    Well Bernardo they did lose unfairly it was an awfull call by the ref and irish teams of anything will always have the greatest heart of any sports team

    December 1, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  734. Pierre Cadeaux

    TO KATIE: I am disgusted how you can say something this stupid. See Henry as a hero?? All he did was EXACTLY the opposite of what a hero is made of. Henry is a lier, a cheater, a sad footballer who lost the world´s respect and his own legacy because of his "infidelity" to the game. I am a Frenchman myself – until earlier a proud one. Now I am ashamed of my pitty country that only does one thing better than all other teams in the world – CHEATING.
    Shame on France, shame on me and my fellow countrymen and shame on Katie for supporting the coward and cheater of Henry.
    I hope France will lose all the games in the World Cup. I am sadly forced to support England now :-(

    December 1, 2009 at 11:40 pm | Reply
  735. Lacey

    What ever the referee says goes. That is the rule in soccer. They can't go and change the rules of the game, that doesn't sound fair to me.

    December 2, 2009 at 1:42 am | Reply
  736. Patrick USAo

    Frankly, I am not a soccer fan. It is like watching paint peel. But I can see why soccer fans are so violent. Mistakes by referees that can result in a game being lost can drive a person crazy with anger. Our football games are 10 times more violent than soccer, but rarely does a fight break out among the fans. A lot of that is because of instant replays. Either team can request a replay if they don't like a referee's call. On the other hand, if a team requests a replay and the original call is upheld, they lose a timeout (each team has 3 timeouts per half). This keeps teams from asking for a replay after every call. I think the fact that no team ever (or almost never) benefits from a bad call by referees keeps tempers way down. If fans are angry it is usually at their own team for making mistakes. Some form of penalty would have to be applied in soccer to keep teams from challenging every ruling, but if soccer used instant replays it could go a long way toward reducing the truly disgusting spectacle of soccer fans rioting.

    December 2, 2009 at 5:08 am | Reply
  737. HSPL

    to allow technology into soccer would just ruin the game. don't get me wrong, i hate it when refs name blatantly unfair calls and everything goes down the toilet because of that one call. but soccer isn't about if the ref makes the right call or not, it's about giving it all you got from the moment the single whistle signals the game's beginning to the three that end it.

    the beauty of this game lies in it's simplicity. i mean, all you need is a ball and you're good to go. and like all things on this earth this game is far from perfect. yes, that goal probably shouldn't have been allowed, but things happen, build a bridge and move on. i'll admit that being neither french nor irish i do not have same emotional investment in this as others might, but the world cup will come again in four years.

    December 2, 2009 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  738. Scott

    to all of you who think this was an injustice:
    the fact of the matter is that if ireland were the better team they would not have been in the situation to lose 2-1 on aggregate. ireland lost the first game and noone is doubting that game, and even if the goal didnt count there is no gaurantee france wouldnt have made a different goal or ireland would have been the victor in extra rime or a shootout. you people can cry foul, beg for a rematch, and complain all you like but nothing will change. France won. it's nobodies fault but the irish teams.

    December 3, 2009 at 5:53 am | Reply
  739. bernardo k

    What good is FIFA if it bows to demands.
    We cannot allow the law of the jungle to replace the rule of law.
    FIFA is soccer and soccer follows FIFA.
    Maybe someone would like to start up FAFI , a rival body to FIFA.

    December 3, 2009 at 7:37 am | Reply
  740. jeffREY THOMAS

    Ya, lets go back in history and look at every play a ref did not make and review. Lets call every play that did not term themselves in for a handball, tripping, a foul and call them a cheat. Get real people, it's not the players job to make the call it is the ref.

    December 3, 2009 at 4:02 pm | Reply
  741. Adebiyi Adeosun

    It is regretable that this incident happened like it has always happened. As a football player, i believe that the act was not just reflex but deliberate. Agreed Henry owned up to it after the match, I believe the decision of the referee would not have changed even if he had raised the handling of the ball after the referee had pointed to the CC. Too bad.
    I feel sorry for Ireland. Nonetheless i wiil not want the sport mechanised. The use of replay should be approached with caution else the flow, dynamics and rhythm of the game will be lost to human factor. On a final note i support disciplinary action against Henry by FIFA to discourage others.

    December 4, 2009 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  742. Amara Kromah

    Why france,I,m a great supporter of the le bleu team but they doesn,t qualified for this african world cup.Fifa most do something about this,otherwice country like england,italy,spain,germany or the netherlands will never allowed such qualification.france teams and the supporters most be ashamed of this kinds of victories.
    FIFA Please do something to make every country happy in this beautiful games.Football may cause something in this world,some country don,t just condider it to be sport but religion.
    Thanks
    A. Kromah from the Netherlands

    December 5, 2009 at 10:54 am | Reply
  743. kumbosoni

    Indeed its not the fault of Henry or france players, its the fault of referes, in football there are so many mistakes and non of it can be encouted on any player. Dump on every one who have spent their time focusing on poor Henry. where was you guys during chealese and Balcerona, how many fouls was there. leave poor france to go to Africa, France it self has good relationship with many African countries. You guys you need to wow on referes,they won't do anything with you just wow on them. Leave players to enjoy their game.

    December 6, 2009 at 11:56 am | Reply
  744. Mahoney

    I couldn't help but notice at the bottom of the article, it says

    "even if the goal had been disallowed, the Republic would not necessarily have qualified for the World Cup finals"

    While this is true, it's not about winning as much as it is about the spirit of football, and the spirit of football promotes fair play and honesty. If we had lost at the end, it would have been okay if they won legitimately.

    December 7, 2009 at 7:26 pm | Reply
  745. ashley

    The ref was paid,should have reconsidered after tely replay.Henry has always been a cheat.

    December 8, 2009 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  746. Raula

    The qualifying match was simply a formal proceedure and a planned move to eliminate Ireland be it through hook or crook to admit French. I must say the reputation of the Worlds Football Governing body has never come under much doubt and critisism than it has today with the French/Ireland qualifying match. It does not stand for fair play anymore but for commerical biases, that should be it's new slogan in the coming World Cup. In consideration of the degree of culpabilities that should be imposed , I think the fault should squarely rest on FIFA and not the Player,after all, Henry admitted his wrong doing, and the best FIFA could do was to sanction a rematch. Shame on you FIFA for this lapses.

    December 8, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Reply
  747. Jose M. Pulido

    My dear friends,
    To compensate and to make up for the controversial loss, FIFA and the world should allow Ireland to go to 2014 world cup finals automatically, along with the host country.

    And FIFA should add more video cameras George Orwell's Big brother style and adopt the use of video replay to decide controversial plays; the world is gettint that way anyway with so much terrorism. We are on "Candid Camera" most of the time anyway.

    All soccer games... I mean, all football games (excuse me) are video recorded anyway; then, why not to add a few more high-speed camcorders in stadiums for top, left, right, front and back views? FIFA has to catch up with technoogy.

    A thousand years from now, (if our planet Earth still exists), people will still talk about Henry's hand. And don't blame the French citizens nor their national team for it; it was just that the referee had a blocked view and in my opinion, he was unable to see the whole play.

    So let's forgive and compensate Ireland; it's only fair.

    December 9, 2009 at 4:58 am | Reply
  748. narinder

    fifa wake up read the above messages and act wisely. do something ositif. Introdice the vedeo cameras to make decisions as in hockey and rugger. Stop the watch to make additional time for play. Refrees can make mistakes and they are humans. Why are fifa leaders sticking on to the old and outdated rules that only the refree can decide and his decision is final? It is now the 21st. century. Act fast and make the changes to rules keeping in line with the times. People are getting fed up and loosing interest in football.

    December 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm | Reply
  749. acsc

    How about replay for just these types of situations? Will FIFA ever join the 21st Century? My guess....hmmmmm.....probably no time soon.

    December 10, 2009 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  750. Dan M

    FIFA must consider replay but only for if the ball crosses the plane of the goal. To institute replays for every apparent miss-call would interrupt the flow of the game that is so important to this sport. The football (soccer) observer must know that the referee makes far fewer mistakes calling the game than the athletes make playing the game! FIFA would be better served by setting guidelines for the referees for other subjective concerns such as the intentional dives that bring such clear disrepute to the game.

    December 11, 2009 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  751. John Vervynck

    Let's all be honest. If you were in Henry's position would you have gone to the ref and owned up to it? No, I think not. Let's also be honest about another thing. Ireland would not have won a shootout. They just don't have the quality. While France's standing as one of the top teams in the world is slowsly falling, there is not doubt that they still possess three of the deadliest strikers in the world(Henry, Anelka, Benzema). Anyhow, replay would destroy the flow of the match and ultimately change the complection of the sport. I love the game for what it is and would be severly dissapointed if replay was instated. All that said, Thierry Henry is one of the greats in the history of the game and should be remembered that way.

    December 12, 2009 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  752. fleegor

    Football is all about cheating. The best players in the world are the ones that know how to draw a foul, dive and roll around the pitch in in extreme agony, tug on a shirt.... its all part of this 'sport' today. Then, when the players don't get their way, they run up to the ref and scream profanities in his face from two inches away. The rules state that you are not allowed to touch the ball with your hand, but if the ref didn't see it, it is fine, always has been. Those calling for a rematch act as if this is the first time they have ever seen a game of football. Why don't we review all the games on video and replay all those where someone cheated??? Crazy...
    Or, lets make a new set of rules that don't encourage/reward cheating. Introduce the 'sin bin' like in rugby (10 mins off for a yellow card).
    Back chatting the referee is not allowed.
    Players caught cheating (even in video evidence after the game) are suspended/fined or both.
    The game needs to clean itself up.
    What is disgusting is to see kids in the park diving on the ground instead of fighting for the ball, because it is easier to gain possession that way.
    It is one of the most effective tactics of the worlds most expensive player.

    December 13, 2009 at 9:22 am | Reply
  753. Dennis

    It's time FIFA follow in the steps of other major international sports around the world and introduce a video replay option or have a video official that can inform the referee of blatant fouls. This will make the game fairer and assist the referee's in those situation players know they are blindspotted.

    December 13, 2009 at 12:12 pm | Reply
  754. James

    Goal France!!!! Thierry Henry is the national hero! Way to go! Les Blues are my sleeper pick to win WC2010! Henry will wear the captains armband and lead the French to glory!

    December 13, 2009 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  755. aeroxavier

    if france win the cup? they don't merit this qualification ? if they are in the last 10 country finalist we can't say they have cheated because they are bad but if france lose all match we can see they don't merit that. just wait......

    December 13, 2009 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  756. Lee Chan Wook

    There's no winner. only losers.
    FIFA, ireland, france, fans and Henrry.
    Sorry for all of them.
    cause, They cannot fully enjoy comming Worldcup.

    Life's not fair, always.

    December 14, 2009 at 3:50 am | Reply
  757. ZAJEBAN83

    they should have replay cameras to assist the ref. just like in the nhl (ice hockey). these days soccer is all politics, france and italy and england always have to make the qualifications and that's how it is. it sucks

    December 14, 2009 at 5:53 am | Reply
  758. Justice12

    I agree that the officiating left a lot to be desired, but to label Henri as anything but an athlete doing his job is absurd. And for those that criticize him for his hand ball, its just an indication that they've never played professional sports. In the heat of the moment and battle, all great athletes have at some point bent or broken the rules to gain an advantage. Plame the ref and FIFA for missing the call, but please, to call Henri a cheat is just ignorant.

    December 14, 2009 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  759. Tadze ADAMU

    FIFA promotes cheating in all spheres.
    I cannot forget Cameroon being cheated in the match with England at the Italia 90 quarter finals.
    Its a shame ti FIFA and partly to Henry for letting go such rubbish.

    December 15, 2009 at 11:55 am | Reply
  760. Tadze ADAMU

    FIFA promotes cheating in all spheres.
    I cannot forget Cameroon being cheated in the match with England at the Italia 90 quarter finals.
    Its a shame ti FIFA and partly to Henry for letting go such rubbish.
    shame again

    December 15, 2009 at 12:06 pm | Reply
  761. laurent houtan

    i am french and i think that it's a disgrace.
    boycott HENRY , the french team and mister DOMENECH

    December 15, 2009 at 5:27 pm | Reply
  762. Sean

    If the officials are to blame, rather than Henry, essentially what we're saying then is that it's ok to cheat if you can get away with it. Henry should have had the integrity to admit to the referee during the game, not after as he did to everyone else, that he had handled the ball. The Irish have been robbed, Henry is a cheat, and now a fantastic game has been shamed.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  763. ossing london

    tahnk you tadze in france during the match cameroon vs chile two goals if not three scored by cameroon strikers Oman bick and mboma were ruled out as off-side. what happend ýou all know ofcourse cameroon was sent packing. And it ended like that what did fifa do ? or the worl in general? But today because is a eurpean country all the medias are talking.
    For me is okay let some big countries too taste how is bad to be cheated, afterall henri is not the refree, the refree should be question and not the player, allez les blues je suis derier vous et bon chance.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:11 pm | Reply
  764. ossing london

    i beleive cameras are not going to solve the problems. What should be done as part of my contribution is that all refrees who can not handle the whistle well should be dismiss.

    December 17, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  765. bernardo k

    blame it on nobody but poor sportmanship.
    don't waste time.
    enough is enough.
    South Africa awaits.

    December 18, 2009 at 12:26 pm | Reply
  766. mohamed koroma

    Why is everyone picking on poor henry? day in day out teams employ evil tactics to win games. Why is a hand ball so special?. No football team in englang will beat Arsenal through fair play so they use what I call "if you miss the ball don't miss the man tactics". The fact is refrees are humans they cannot see everthing and some incidences takes a split second decision. Let go for technology if we want perfect decisions to be made. Infact, for the good of the game it is better France qualified as more football fans the world over would prefer to watch France play.

    December 19, 2009 at 5:03 am | Reply
  767. limbo namibia

    this is what happens frans is going to the world cap one man did a mistake and i will not say he did nit see it he sow it and ther a this type of refree who wants this team to win and i think they should start to use replays on vidio so that they can dicide what to do not after the game but during the game

    December 25, 2009 at 2:31 am | Reply
  768. kunle

    i can understand the disappointment of the Irish fans. but this is football, and its a game. if a player tries to fool the ref by diving in the box just to win a penalty, i guess its all the same and this happens all the time. i don't think thierry henry should b blamed, but instead referees should be more mobile and vigilante on the field.

    December 26, 2009 at 3:43 pm | Reply
  769. Charles T

    i think that he should not have hand-balled it, but its the referee's choice if he doesnt call it.
    I dont think i have seen any soccer player handball it, then just call it on himself.
    the best i ever saw anybody did was accept the call if it is call

    January 6, 2010 at 9:56 am | Reply
  770. Jimmy Merchant

    i think it was wrong for Terry Henry to touch the ball with his hand,but while was the linsman when that happen?Maradona haneded the ball before lied saying it was the hand of God.I believe God dose not and will never cheat to get win anything.That was a lied from the pit of hell and Marsdona is a lier.I do not know if Henry is a chirstian,but if he is,he should tell fifa to disallowed the goal and allow Ireland to go instead.If fifa wants us to enjoy football they should do every thing possible to stop cheating and allow fair play.

    January 29, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Reply
  771. couseth

    sick and tired of selected group of countries controling world football while FIFA looks on with approval

    February 5, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  772. sal

    We all know what's what with the game -france v irlande.Has annyone watched Algeria v egypt in angola? I would like to see more comments ,was the referee fair?

    February 19, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Reply
  773. peter

    Of course when any of the European countries (especially British teams) have the misfortune to experience any form of cheating, in any FIFA organized games, Oh! The world should act but when it is Europe verse Africa; it is part of the game. Go back in history and crosscheck the first senior world cup game between England and Cameroon and many of you will realize all these cry over France and Ireland is simply because a British side is affected. Get over it; if it is between France and ANY African nation all the shout of injustice wouldn’t arise. Fairness should be universal.

    March 4, 2010 at 7:56 am | Reply
  774. Ron Chisholm

    Cheating is Cheating clear cut, a man should always stand up and be honest regardless of what people in his country or around the world might say, at least he can keep his head up high, and say "I don't cheat".

    March 16, 2010 at 6:42 am | Reply
  775. bernardo k

    the world cup finals is a gathering only for the best teams.
    it was divine intervention that ireland lost.
    ireland will surely not be defeated but annihilated in south africa.
    just see how it was massacred even at home recently.
    be thankful to the franco for saving your blushes.

    March 17, 2010 at 7:40 am | Reply
  776. ken

    in a game of football everything happens so fast, players head batt, players intentionally handle the ball, others lose their cool and can box the ref.we have a ref who is to oversee all that and honestly we dont expect the players to be their own referees.so yes Henry handled the ball, thats not new, whats new is that he handled and that resulted into a goal...but still thats not new...is it. so my question is do we blame henry to the extent of questioning his personality, do we blame the ref who we expect to see everything even where impossible or do we blame fifa for not embracing technology in a game of football?????.............so that ireland will qualify nxt time.........its not my judgement to make.

    June 15, 2010 at 5:54 am | Reply
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    Savoir s'exprimer et être intelligible n’est jamais chose simple toutefois c'est une victoire pour CNN World Sport: Blog Archive – When will FIFA see what's staring us in the face? – CNN.com Blogs là où beaucoup d’autres ont loupé. Il parait même difficile de faire plus accessible.

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