Wednesday 13 December 2017

'Disgraceful and unacceptable' – Former French manager calls on Irish players to demand compensation

France manager Raymond Domenech looks on during the game. FIFA 2010 World Cup Play-off 1st Leg at Croke Park
France manager Raymond Domenech looks on during the game. FIFA 2010 World Cup Play-off 1st Leg at Croke Park
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Raymond Domenech, the French manager on the night of the infamous Thiery Handball incident, has said he would have "revolted" if he was an Irish player at the time following Fifa's payment to the FAI in 2009.

Ireland were denied a place at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa after losing to France in a two-legged play-off. Giovanni Trapattoni's side were level at 1-1 in Paris and heading for a penalty shoot-out when Henry's illegal intervention allowed William Gallas score the winner and break Irish hearts.

Both Fifa and the Fai have confirmed a $5m payment was made in the aftermath of the controversial game, though Ireland's assistant manager at the time Liam Brady has said that staff and players were unaware of the agreement.

Domenech has called on the Irish players to demand money following the revelations.

“If I was an Irish player and I had known that, I would have revolted against my directors,” he told Europe 1 on Friday morning.

“It’s not possible that they might have sacrificed the possibility of a solution to go and play a World Cup for $5 million.”

“I hope now that the Irish players, when they learn this, that they demand some of the money because it was their qualification that was at stake.

“On a sporting level, it’s disgraceful - unacceptable - that you might sacrifice that for money.”

France bowed out of the 2010 World Cup in disgrace after huge unrest in the squad and Domenech has not returned to management since the underwhelming results in South Africa.

His latest comments are in stark contrast to his thoughts in his autobiography released after the World Cup, where he suggested that Ireland did not have much cause for complaint after the play-off as they had benefitted from refereeing decisions earlier in qualification.

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