FIFA / World Cup - International

Henry escapes FIFA sanctions

Thierry Henry will not be punished for the handball that FIFA President Sepp Blatter called “blatant unfair play.” The FIFA disciplinary committee acknowledged today that it could not retroactively punish a player for an infringement that is not covered in FIFA rules.

While a handball to deny a goal is considered a “serious infringement” as defined by article 77a of the FIFA Disciplinary Code, a handball that leads to a goal being scored is not.

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

Thierry’s handball, which seems to have been seen by everyone on the pitch, in the stands and watching on television other than the match official, prevented the Republic of Ireland from qualifying for this year’s World Cup. The FAI, the governing body for Irish football, demanded that a replay be allowed in the aftermath of the controversy and then asked to be allowed to attend the World Cup as the 33rd team. Both requests were denied by FIFA.

As a result of Henry’s unsporting play, calls increased for the use of extra officials or video technology to assist match officials in the lead up to the World Cup draw, but FIFA announced that it would have to study these options before deciding whether they could be implemented. Neither option will be in place for the World Cup in South Africa.

One Comment

  1. You seem to be up to date on all the world cup news, I sure know where I will be going to get all the latest updates once its on!

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