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France v Ireland won't be replayed

As the late Bill Shankly famously once said, ‘football isn’t a matter of life and death, it’s much more than that.’ Judging by the number of column inches filled since Ireland’s unlucky World Cup exit on Wednesday), he could well have been right.

Unfortunately for supporters of the Emerald Isle, FIFA have confirmed that the controversial France V Ireland World Cup playoff match will not be replayed.

‘FIFA has replied to the request made by the FAI (Football Association of Ireland) to replay the World Cup play-off match between France and the Republic of Ireland,' read the statement on FIFA’s website.

‘The result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed. As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final.’

After losing the first leg 1-0 at home, the Irish saw their dream of going to the World Cup in South Africa next summer dashed after French captain Thierry Henry used his hand to set up William Gallas’ extra time equalizer in Paris on Wednesday night: the French qualified with a 2-1 aggregate win. It’s been pointed out that the ‘Hand Of Frog,’ as it’s been dubbed by some xenophobic press, would even have been an illegal move in basket ball.

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