Henry facing World Cup ban for Ireland handball

FRANCE striker Thierry Henry could be banned for the start of the World Cup after governing body Fifa opened a disciplinary investigation into his infamous handball against the Republic of Ireland.<br /><br />The incident was discussed by Fifa at a specially-convened meeting yesterday in Cape Town, and although president Sepp Blatter insisted a ban was not certain to be imposed, it is thought likely Henry will receive a suspension of one or two matches.<br /><br />&ldquo;This is a matter of the disciplinary committee and it&rsquo;s not a question of this player or another,&rdquo; Blatter said. &ldquo;It was blatant unfair play and was shown all around the world, but I don&rsquo;t know what the outcome will be.&rdquo; He added: &ldquo;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.&rdquo;<br /><br />Blatter attempted to calm the storm still raging over Henry&rsquo;s handball, which set up William Gallas&rsquo;s decisive goal in last month&rsquo;s play-off, by apologising to Irish officials. <br /><br />The Football Association of Ireland had earlier criticised Blatter for revealing their request, made during a private meeting last week, to be admitted to the finals as an extra, so-called 33rd, team.<br /><br />&ldquo;I regret what I created by what I said and I&rsquo;m sorry about the headlines,&rdquo; Blatter said. &ldquo;The Irish were very sporting people when they came to see us. I&rsquo;m very sorry about that.&rdquo;<br /><br />