Kilbane calls for replay
Kevin Kilbane has revealed the Republic of Ireland players want their controversial World Cup play-off against France to be replayed.
Last Updated: 19/11/09 12:03pm
Kevin Kilbane has revealed the Republic of Ireland players want their controversial World Cup qualifying play-off against France to be replayed.
Ireland's World Cup dreams were crushed in Paris on Wednesday night as William Gallas' extra-time goal earned France a 2-1 aggregate success.
Robbie Keane's first-half finish at the Stade de France had cancelled out Nicolas Anelka's goal from the first leg and the match appeared to be heading for a penalty shoot-out.
But France struck decisively in extra-time when Thierry Henry handled the ball before crossing for Gallas to head home from close range.
The goal enraged the Ireland players and, after Henry admitted to using his hand to control the ball, Kilbane is demanding the match is replayed.
"Well, I'd like to think it would be replayed and I think everyone in the squad would like it replayed," said Kilbane.
The experienced defender added: "You see for yourself he's handballed it once and it's still going out of play so he's handled it again to make sure it doesn't go out of play.
"And you know what? I asked him on the pitch, 'Did you handball it?' and he said, 'Yes, but I didn't mean it'. But when I've seen the replay it's there for all to see that we were let down. It's a massive disappointment for us all here.
"I saw it [the handball] clear as day. I went over to the referee after the game had finished and I asked him what happened and if he'd seen the handball. He said, 'I can 100 per cent say it wasn't handball'.
"When he said that to me I knew full well that he was just lying to me because he hadn't even seen it. That was the worst thing about it, we feel really hard done by.
"It will be worse in a couple of weeks' time when the draw is made. We'll have to lift ourselves up again. We can hold our heads up high because we played so well and we should have won the game and that's the ultimate disappointment. We played so well, but we can't come back [to the UK and Ireland] knowing we're going to a World Cup in the summer."
Ireland's assistant manager Liam Brady has also urged Fifa president Sepp Blatter to sanction a replay of the tie.
Brady said: "For the dignity and integrity of football, we will go to France and play again.
"Sepp Blatter goes on about fair play - let him reflect on what happened last night.
"Where is football going if a team is cheated out of fair play? Where are we going if this decision stands?"