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Soccer World In Uproar: Ireland Demands Rematch With France

The Irish object. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

The Irish object.

Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Imagine if the Pittsburgh Steelers' Franco Harris had admitted the ball really did touch the ground on his "immaculate reception."

Too dated a reference?

What if baseball's Yankees' Mariano Rivera had said "yeah, that was a spitball"? (Just to be clear, he did not say that.)

There's an even bigger story in sports today, at least for fans of the world's most popular game.

Henry and his coach confer. Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

Henry and his coach confer.

Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images

French soccer ... er, football ... player Thierry Henry "has admitted handling a ball before a crucial goal that sent his team to the World Cup at the expense of Ireland." Henry's touch, by the way, is known now as "the Hand of Gaul" — a nice homage to the "Hand of God" score by Argentina's Diego Maradona during the 1986 World Cup quarter final against England. Henry didn't score the French goal in Wednesday's match 1-1, but one of his teammates did soon after. The Irish argue that play should have stopped when Henry's hand touched the ball.

Now the Irish want a rematch: "The Football Association of Ireland has called on FIFA (soccer's ruling body) to replay last night's World Cup play-off after Thierry Henry's handball denied the Republic of Ireland a place in the finals," The Irish Times reports.

What should happen?

Update at 6:55 a.m. ET, Nov. 20. There will be no rematch, FIFA has ruled. The AP reports that:

"In the reply, FIFA states that the result of the match cannot be changed and the match cannot be replayed," FIFA said in a statement. "As is clearly mentioned in the Laws of the Game, during matches, decisions are taken by the referee and these decisions are final."