Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

On the 18th November 2009, a referees decision has lead to Ireland being denied an opportunioty in the World Cup. Thierry Henry's handball was missed by the referee and a goal was subsequently scored. Such a flagrant break of the rules should warrant a rematch should it not?

Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

Yes because... No because...

Cheats Should Never Prosper

It is the first rule of FIFA's code of play that all matches be fair and that to win by cheating or through a breach of the rules is no victory at all and brings the game into disrepute. As such world football's governing body should stand by these principles and make the landmark decision to offer a replay of the match in question.

To do anything else is to offer credence to the notion that fair play is a secondary consideration and that a team can benefit from breaches of the rules so long as they are not picked up on it by the officials. A code not enforced is no code at all.

Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

Yes because... No because...

the hand ball was recognised by all those involved

There need be no discussion about video replay being used like in rugby, the fact of the matter is all those involved knew that a handball had occurred and yet such a flagrant breach of the rules was ignored. The linesmen saw the handball, Henry knew it had occurred and so did the FIFA commissioner. If they all noticed it why was the ball not classified as out of play? This is not a case of the referee making a decision badly, but a case of the referee taking a decision which was not available to him. If a referee sees a handball there are steps that have to be taken. These steps were not taken, and Ireland are suffering for it.

Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

Yes because... No because...

There is a precedent.

In 2005 a match between Uzbekistan and Bahrain was invalidated for the World Cup qualifiers due to a technical error. This is where Ireland’s case for a rematch is the strongest. There is no quarrel that the handball occurred, that would be a referee’s decision. But he acknowledged that it did occur, as did Henry and still allowed play. This is a misapplication of football rules which would be classified as a technical error not an error of fact over which the referee has the final say. To keep high standards of football, consistency and integrity, this precedent should be followed.

Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

Yes because... No because...

the referees decision is final

Just like if Henry wants to touch the ball, he too should play rugby.

In addition, Law 5 of the Laws of the Game, and also in Article 13, paragraph 6 of the Regulations of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, 'no protests may be made about the referee's decisions regarding facts connected with play. Such decisions are final'". But here the dispute is not about the facts, everyone knew what ocurred but it was ignored. The dispute is about what action should have been taken after a handball was discovered, and here is where the dispute lies.

When a referee makes a decision in football, it is final. It is part of the fun of football to dispute the referee's decisions. Sometimes this novel rule in football works for a team and sometimes it works against a team. Either way, it is part of the game of football. People are prone to human error, and the referee’s are only human. If you want to play a game where every move is examined under a microscope and caught on video, then you should play rugby.

Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?

Yes because... No because...

It would open the flood gates

The flood gates would not be thus opened if it was kept to confined situations. This was not a wrong decision of fact; one which is based upon what has occurred in ball play, but an error of penalisation, something occurred, noticed by all, and the referee did not act on it. Henry stated that he told the referee what had happened, the referee may not have seen but the offending player admitted to it. Therefore what should have occurred was the proper penalisation that applies when a hand ball occurs. It was not left open to the referee to count the resuming play as lawful when the ball should have been classed as out of play from the moment it touched Henry’s hand.

If Fifa were to allow this game to be replayed, then every game where a referee made a wrong decision would be asked to be replayed. This situation would be ridiculous. The only way to keep football consistent is to stick to the rule that the referee’s decision is final and no interference after the match would be allowed. Referees are penalised after matches if they make wrong decision in order to make sure they make fair decisions. This is the only way to maintain football’s integrity.

Debates > Should there be a re-match between Ireland and France?
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