Irish Independent, 20 November 2009

Hand of Dieu costs Ireland "billions"

Published on 20 November 2009 at 15:13
Irish Independent, 20 November 2009

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Nicolas Sarkozy has said he feels “sorry”, Le Figaro has called it an “affair of state”, while Libération has gleefully illustrated its entire Friday edition with photos of hands. The furore over Wednesday’s night World Cup qualifying match in which France eliminated Ireland with a flagrant piece of handball skullduggery from Thierry Henry looks sets to run. The Irish Independent led this morning with news that the FAI, Ireland’s football association, had called on FIFA to order a replay, backed up by a Taoiseach Brian Cowen and ministers desperate to restore some of their deeply unpopular government moral authority. Later today, the stuffed shirts of FIFA, however, overturned the FAI request, backing up the beleaguered Swedish referee who, unlike the rest of the planet, failed to see the Henry ruse. Meanwhile, with a fine piece of hyperbole, the Irish Independent’s leader blames Ireland’s economic woes on Barcelona supremo Henry. “FIFA's condoning of the French captain's cheating has cost this country dearly, perhaps billions in economic terms,” it froths.

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