FRANCE - Ireland's hopes for a rematch of its World Cup qualifier against France ended on Friday after Fifa and the French Football Federation both rejected requests for the game to be replayed.
Turning down an appeal by the Football Association of Ireland as well as pressure from lawmakers and football figures in both countries, Fifa said it could not interfere and the referee's decision to allow the goal stands, despite a preceding handball by France captain Thierry Henry.
"The result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed," Fifa said in a statement. "As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."
The statement seems to be the final word in this debate that has seen fans and leading politicians in both countries demanding a replay.
The 1-1 draw at Stade de France put the French through to next year's World Cup in South Africa 2-1 on aggregate. - AP