Henry seeks replay of game

PARIS: France captain Thierry Henry admitted he had handled the ball in the build-up to a controversial goal that sent France to the World Cup at the expense of Ireland.

Henry appeared to handle the ball twice before feeding defender William Gallas, who bundled home from close range on 103 minutes to give France a 1-1 draw in the return leg of their playoff and a 2-1 aggregate win.

The France captain said after the game that the referee was at fault for not spotting the offense but waited until after FIFA''s ruling to acknowledge the possibility of a replay.

"Of course the fairest solution would be to replay the game, but it is not in my control," Henry said in a statement issued to British media. "Naturally, I feel embarrassed at the way that we won and feel extremely sorry for the Irish, who definitely deserve to be in South Africa.

"There is little more I can do apart from admit that the ball had contact with my hand leading up to our equalizing goal and I feel very sorry for the Irish."