November 19, 2009
Posted: 1729 GMT

Hello everyone,

Sometimes, sports stories become international news stories. The World Cup qualifying match between France and Ireland fits into that category.

After a hand ball from French star striker Thierry Henry sent France to the World Cup finals, there have been calls for a replay from ordinary fans all the way up to Irish politicians.

Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern told a radio station he believes there should be a rematch, but added: "They (FIFA) probably won't grant it as we are minnows in world football but let's put them on the spot."

But the French Prime Minister is reportedly saying the Irish government should butt out of the footballing row. Is this football controversay turning into a diplomatic spat?

Football is so closely tied to national pride in many parts of the world that a perception of injustice such as this inflames passions. And even people in France are saying this was not the way they wanted to win.

My Twitter page was flooded with viewers – France and Ireland supporters alike – saying FIFA should order a replay. Although that is unlikely to happen, this incident may have an impact on how the world football federation considers improvements to refereeing.

We will talk with Pedro Pinto in London, Terry Baddoo here in Atlanta and hear from the irish justice minister as well from the streets of Paris.

Also today, we take you live to Brussels for more on the ongoing vote for a new E.U. President. Jim Bittermann is in the Belgian capital with more on the front runner and what the job of European Union president means.

Don't forget to take part in our online poll on whether you think electing a European president will make a difference.

Then, we will go to Kabul and talk to our Chris Lawrence who attended President Hamid Karzai's inauguration after a controversial elections and calls from close allies to seriously address corruption in the Afghan government.

Plus, a look at Wall Street where a major sell-off is under way.

That, and the rest of the day's top stories, as always.

See you at the IDesk!


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Paul   November 19th, 2009 5:55 pm ET

Thierry Henry´s hand reminds me " God´s hand" of Maradonna!!!!

The King Of The World   November 19th, 2009 7:07 pm ET

What's the catch in football? Never understood people who watch football.I forced myself to watch football, but to no avail.The only thing I pay attention during a game of football is that what they are talking announcers.

Sayan Majumdar   November 20th, 2009 4:04 am ET

It is high time soccer introduces at least two sets of referees; one at both halves of the pitch (like field Hockey).

Whether video technology should be allowed to clarify sensitive situations remain debatable as it is bound to hamper and slow the pace of the match.


Katrin   November 20th, 2009 10:10 am ET

I'm really curious what FIFA's decision will be on this matter.

Muthyavan.   November 20th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

Football has become an international game which has also become highly contested by countries raising tensions between countries some time. Recent events in the west African qualifying games and European qualifying games have created high tensions between the fans of these each countries. FIFA the world body in charge overseeing and enforcing strict rules in world football has a major role in playing and defusing these tensions and encouraging a more friendly approach towards these games.

Lisa Cash   November 20th, 2009 5:28 pm ET

Serena Williams & Diego Maradona's swearing is music to my ears compared to this.

nimitz benedicto   November 20th, 2009 5:38 pm ET


FIFA DO SOMETHING   November 20th, 2009 8:44 pm ET

it is high time FIFA start taking a right judgement in a situation like this,we are talking about a ticket to south africa a WORLD CUP Qualification for that matter and if fifa allows the Ireland to be rubbed by France like this that mean i wil advise players to always use hand to score goal whenever it is difficult for them to score with leg and OF course FIFA will not do anything.Let FIFA act now otherwise.FOOT BALL will be Renamed HAND BALL.

Robert   November 21st, 2009 8:34 am ET

I didn't watch the game F – IRE. – Can one really assume this goal changed the outcome of the match? Why were the Irish unable to score another goal?
In life we have to learn to accept decisions taken in an instant. Why do people always want to change their fate? Is the outcome so unbearable?
I'd propose to shut TV out from football games, at least prohibit close-ups so as not to interfere with the referees.
It's only a game, folks! I wish there'd be a referee in politics. This could alter the course of history.

halozcel   November 21st, 2009 12:40 pm ET

Referee and Linesman should be blamed,but,that doesnt correct anything.Ireland eilminated from World Cup 2010,France is going to South Africa.
It may be considered UEFA President Platini's success.
Someones write Replay.UEFA said No Replay and closed the case,but it will be remembered forever.

Thot   November 21st, 2009 4:16 pm ET

Seems the rule and actions of FIFA are in contradiction from what FIFA stand for: “WHAT WE STAND FOR – Our core values of authenticity, unity, performance and integrity are at the very heart of who we are.
Integrity. We believe that, just as the game itself, FIFA must be a model of fair play, tolerance, sportsmanship and transparency.”

Very interesting mission, but I think often the importance of sport-spectacle weights more in their decisions then the values of sport should pursue.
Maybe FIFA should reevaluate their rules, so they are in conformity of what is FIFA mission.

morpheus   December 1st, 2009 11:38 pm ET

i understand that Thierry HENRY is wrong for what he did, i don't blame fifa for not replaying the match, i do however blame the referees for their act, i cannot believe they missed something like that, it however shows that the assistant referee on the line was not in correct position. .. Fifa stands by rules and regulations, if 4 referees cannot see the play, cannot make a call, then there is nothing that the organization can do. Fans are asking for a replay, FIFA will not allow that, if they do, then what happened to all the games before this with controversy. what happened to Thierry HENRY before when a hand ball made him loose the finals. lets think people

vee   July 8th, 2010 2:44 pm ET

go spain

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