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Henry Hands French FinalSpot



faiRobbie Keane hit out at the presidents of FIFA and UEFA following the Republic of Ireland’s World Cup exit, claiming they would be ‘delighted’ that France had gone through thanks to a hugely controversial winning goal.

Striker Thierry Henry clearly handled the ball before squaring it across goal for William Gallas to net the winner after Republic skipper Keane had levelled the aggregate score in the first half of the play-off second leg in Paris.

And Keane claims FIFA president Sepp Blatter and his UEFA counterpart Michel Platini got the result they would have wanted last night.

He told BBC Radio Five Live: ‘They’re all probably clapping hands, Platini sitting up there on the phone to Sepp Blatter, probably texting each other, delighted with the result.’

The Tottenham forward also criticised the late decision to seed the play-off ties when it emerged that established football powers such as France, Portugal and at one stage Germany could be involved.

Keane said: ‘Germany had a chance of being in the (play-offs) as well. With two massive countries there’s no way in a million years is there going to be fair draw.’

Henry’s handball was another incident in support of video evidence being used during matches to support referees.

He added: ‘He (Henry) nearly caught it, so it’s a bit of a killer. When you see the reaction of the players, (goalkeeper) Shay (Given) especially, he’s two yards away from it.

‘You don’t get a reaction like that if he’s not sure it’s a handball. He almost caught it and ran into the net with it.’

Henry admitted the ball did strike his hand and claims he told the referee, who chose to allow the goal to stand.

The Barcelona striker said: ‘The ball hit my hand, I will be honest. It was a handball, you can clearly see it. (Sebastien) Squillaci went to jump with two Irish players, I was behind him and the next thing I know the ball hit my hand.

‘It was a handball, but I’m not the ref. I told (the referee) but he said to me the same: ‘You are not the ref.’

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