Wednesday 24 July 2019

Platini fans Paris flames


UEFA president Michel Platini has risked re-opening the wounds from Ireland's World Cup exit by saying that referee Martin Hansson was "not responsible" for the decision to allow France's controversial goal in Paris last November.

Hansson was put forward as a World Cup referee on Friday and Platini said it was the correct decision.

"He couldn't see the handball and it was a not a question for the referee," said Platini. "We could see it quite clearly on television but we wouldn't if we had been in his position."

Platini's remarks will increase Irish frustration about the night in Paris and add to the sense that the governing bodies of football would like to forget about that night and the subsequent campaign led by the FAI to introduce video technology.

Speaking in Warsaw yesterday before today's draw for the European Championships, Platini hailed the experiment with extra officials in the Europa League, but he is more tentative about video technology.

If the rehearsal draw yesterday is replicated today in front of Giovanni Trapattoni, there may be an urgent need to do something. In rehearsals, Ireland were drawn alongside France.

"Certainly it would be great if France were drawn with Ireland," Platini said, after a day when he became irritated at the persistent questions about John Terry from the English media. "But I am not making the draw, that is for somebody from Poland or the Ukraine."

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