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UEFA add officials to prevent Henry fiasco

It may be a bit late to lift the spirits of Republic of Ireland fans, but there will be two extra officials behind the goal in the Euro 2012 qualifiers as UEFA seek to avoid a repeat of the Thierry Henry incident.

The trial which was introduced for Europa League games this season has been extended to the Champions League and the qualifiers for the 2012 finals, with a two year period for the experimentation.

If the system had been in operation for the World Cup qualifers, then Henry's infamous handball which denied the Republic a place in South Africa would have taken place directly in front of an official

UEFA have also slightly amended the rules for the playoffs to fill the final slots in the 2012 finals in Poland and Ukraine.

The nine group winners will proceed to the tournament, with the best runner up also qualifying automatically.

While the other eight second placed teams will be seeded — similar to the World Cup — European football's governing body have removed the stipulation that the seeded team would definitely play the decisive second leg at home.

Now, a draw will determine the run of fixtures.

Belfast Telegraph