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FAI to lodge official complaint

The Football Association of Ireland today confirmed that it will lodge a complaint with FIFA, following last night’s World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland in Paris.

The statement from the FAI reads:

"Conclusive video evidence of a deliberate hand ball by Thierry Henry, which led to France’s additional time goal, has been seen by millions of football fans worldwide.

"The blatantly incorrect decision by the referee to award the goal has damaged the integrity of the sport and we now call on FIFA, as the world governing body for our sport, to organise for this match to be replayed.

"The hand ball, was recognised by the FIFA commissioner, the referee observer and the match officials, as well as by the player himself.

"There is precedent for the invalidation of such results. In 2005, the Bureau of the FIFA World Cup organising committee reached a decision to invalidate the result of a World Cup qualification match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain on the basis of a ‘technical error by the referee of the match’.

"The Football Association of Ireland is hoping that FIFA and its Disciplinary Committee will, on behalf of football fans world-wide, act in a similar fashion so that the standards of fair play and integrity can be protected."

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