Henry facing FIFA investigation

Thierry Henry has been told he could miss the start of the World Cup Finals after FIFA revealed they will investigate the France captain's controversial handball against the Republic of Ireland.

The Republic failed to qualify for next summer's tournament after being beaten 2-1 on aggregate by France in a two-legged play-off last month.

Referee Martin Hansson failed to spot that Henry had handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas' decisive extra-time goal in the second leg encounter.

An outraged Football Association of Ireland failed in a request to have the game replayed, but the handball incident was discussed at an emergency meeting of the FIFA executive committee in Cape Town.

Afterwards, president Sepp Blatter revealed that Henry is to be the subject of an investigation which could potentially lead to a ban.

"The disciplinary will open a case on the behaviour of the player Thierry Henry," he told a news conference.

"This is a matter of the disciplinary committee and it's not a question of this player or another – it was a blatant unfair playing and was shown all around the world, but I don't know what the outcome will be.

"I have not said that Thierry Henry will be punished, I have said that Thierry Henry will be examined by the disciplinary committee of FIFA."

Meanwhile, Blatter has appealed for fair play to prevail during the tournament next summer.

He added:"I appeal to all the players and coaches to observe this fair play.

"In 2010 we want to prove that football is more than just kicking a ball but has social and cultural value.

"So we ask the players 'please observe fair play' so they will be an example to the rest of the world."

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