FOOTBALL : FIFA have dashed the Republic of Ireland’s hopes replaying their World Cup qualifying play-off with France.
FIFA have dashed the Republic of Ireland’s hopes replaying their World Cup qualifying play-off with France.
The world governing body ruled that the result cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed.
FIFA said in a statement: “FIFA has replied to the request made by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) to replay the 2010 FIFA World Cup play-off match held on 18 November 2009 between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris. In the reply, FIFA states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed. As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final.”
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) had formally requested a replay after Thierry Henry’s clear handball in the build-up to William Gallas’ decisive goal.
The announcement was not a surprise – a senior source at the world governing body had said on Thursday they would have no option but to reject the demand.
The FIFA source told Press Association Sport: “There is no way the game can replayed.
“To do so would cause absolute chaos for football. If it was replayed then every match in the future would also be subject to these calls for a replay any time a referee misses an incident.
“FIFA’s rules are absolutely clear. Law 5 states that a referee’s decision on points of fact are final. That is the end of it. You cannot replay the match on this basis.
“You have to have a rule that says the referee’s judgement is always right.”
The wording of Law 5 of the Laws of the Game states: “The decisions of the referee regarding facts connected with play, including whether or not a goal is scored and the result of the match, are final. The referee may only change a decision on realising that it is incorrect or, at his discretion, on the advice of an assistant referee or the fourth official, provided that he has not restarted play or terminated the match.”