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Henry escapes punishment for handball

Thierry Henry has escaped punishment for his controversial handball against Ireland which resulted in France qualifying for the World Cup .

Despite FIFA president Sepp Blatter describing the incident as an example of 'blatant unfair play' a disciplinary committee for football's governing body has ruled that it is powerless to handout punishment retrospectively for the foul.

The Football Association of Ireland had called for a replay before later demanding that FIFA award them a place as the 33rd team in South Africa next summer. However, both of the requests were turned down and now FIFA has outlined that handball in the build-up to a goal is not covered by their disciplinary code leaving Henry in the clear.

'The disciplinary committee reached the conclusion that there was no legal foundation for the committee to consider the case because handling the ball cannot be regarded as a serious infringement as stipulated in article 77a of the Fifa Disciplinary Code,' FIFA's statement said.

'There is no other legal text that would allow the committee to impose sanctions for any incidents missed by match officials.'

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