By Chris Harris

Arsène Wenger believes that the referee of the controversial France-Ireland play-off had one solution on Wednesday night: ask Thierry Henry what he'd done.

Swedish official Martin Hansson did not spot the French striker's double handball in the build-up to the goal that eliminated Ireland from the 2010 World Cup.

The unsighted referee could not turn to his linesman - who also missed the infringement - and so allowed William Gallas' equaliser to stand.

Wenger has sympathy for Hansson, not least because he did not have access to video replays, but the Arsenal manager thinks the referee could have gone to Henry himself to clear the matter up.

"He had that resource, which he didn't use," said Wenger at his pre-match press conference. "But that's the only one.

"What is terrible for the referee is that he gave the goal knowing something was not regular, yet he had no help. Because of the unanimous reaction of Ireland he knew something wasn't right.

"He asked for help from the linesman, who couldn't give him help. I saw him walk from the linesman to the middle of the park, thinking ‘I have to give that goal', knowing it is not a regular goal.

"That is where football is guilty."

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20 Nov 2009