PARIS (Reuters) - France cheated their way to the World Cup and it has set a bad example to children, the country’s sports teachers said on Thursday.
Raymond Domenech’s team qualified for next year’s finals after Thierry Henry handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas’s goal in Wednesday’s 1-1 second leg draw against Ireland in Paris.
“The France team will go to South Africa courtesy of unquestionable cheating which highlights the downward spiral affecting football today,” teachers’ union Snep-FSU said in a statement.
The union added the French Football Federation (FFF) should have condemned what happened and called for a debate between teachers and pupils to “see how they can convey more positive values” in soccer.
Gallas’s goal meant Les Bleus won the playoff match 2-1 on aggregate.
“Snep condemns and challenges statements by coach Raymond Domenech and some of his players saying the main thing in sport is to win,” the union’s statement added.
The Football Association of Ireland (FAI) has called on soccer’s ruling body FIFA to order a replay of the playoff.