New Delhi:French striker Thierry Henry could miss the start of the World Cup if the FIFA disciplinary panel decides that his handball goal against Ireland last Wednesday night constituted "unsporting behaviour".
The footballer is likely to be punished only if it is thought he deliberately cheated.
Henry's deliberate handling set up an equalizer for William Gallas in Wednesday's 1-1 draw which sent the French to next year's championship and knocked the Irish out. The Irish appealed to the French football federation to agree to a replay but were turned down on Friday.
Football Association of Ireland chief executive John Delaney said on Saturday a replay would have restored the integrity of the game in front of a worldwide audience. But he said: "our calls appear to have fallen on deaf ears at the French Football Federation."