Trapattoni demands answers over referee

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The Independent Online

Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni wants FIFA to explain their choice of referee for last night's World Cup play-off against France in Paris.

Martin Hansson did not penalise Thierry Henry for the blatant handball which set up William Gallas' extra-time equaliser, which ended the Republic's hopes of reaching next year's finals in South Africa.

And Trapattoni told a press conference in Dublin today: "All fans saw what happened on the pitch.

"I would only like to say I would like FIFA to explain how they selected the referee for this important game. For this important game we needed a stronger referee - an important referee."

The Italian continued: "I would give the advice to FIFA - maybe in the future change the rules about the play-off. Play two games and at the end of 90 minutes - no extra-time.

"I think there are mistakes in life...I've seen many situations in football but change the rules. All sports lose credibility with this situation - it affects the integrity of the game.

"I will go to FIFA and advise them 'go straight to penalties'. It's better for football.

Trapattoni admitted it had been a "bitter" experience and for him the circumstances of the play-offs were questionable.

He added: "For me it's bitter. There are many questions - they changed the rules about the seeded teams, then us playing away last.

"There are many doubts that have to be eliminated.

"Out of the non-seeded teams we were the only ones to play the second game away - why?"

The Italian believes there was no prospect of the match being replayed, adding: "I know its impossible to replay the game.

"This situation has to give a chance to who is responsible to rethink. It can be repeated in the future and we have to stop it.

"There is a 30-second stop and we clarify the situation. I'm sure in the future they will have to do something about it."

Trapattoni did though absolve Henry, saying: "It wasn't up to Henry to say I touched it with my hand."

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