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Page last updated at 07:40 GMT, Friday, 23 July 2010 08:40 UK

France World Cup exit made Richard Dunne 'laugh'

Raymond Domenech

The end of the road for France

Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne has expressed his pleasure at France's shambolic 2010 World Cup exit.

"I didn't see it but I did laugh," said Dunne, whose side were denied a place at the finals by Thierry Henry's handball in the play-offs.

"If you're going to cheat to get there, you might as well try when you are out there but they didn't even do that!"

France endured a terrible tournament in South Africa, failing to win a match and suffering from player unrest.

Their poor showing even sparked a government inquiry back home, with coach Raymond Domenech and a number of influential squad members coming under fire.


Domenech has now been replaced by former France captain and Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc while there have been calls for the players who boycotted a training session at the World Cup to be banned from representing their country again.

The Republic of Ireland lost out on a place in South Africa when former Arsenal striker Henry handled the ball in the build-up to the decisive extra-time goal which earned France a 1-1 draw on the night and an aggregate 2-1 win in last year's play-offs.

Following the match in Paris last November, Dunne was distraught with the way his team had been denied a World Cup finals spot.

He said at the time: "Henry admitted afterwards he handled it, but it doesn't make me feel any better. We were cheated."

However, the Aston Villa centre-half, now looking forward to a new season in the Premier League, was able to reflect more positively on the incidents that occurred against France last year.

"It happens," he said. "We weren't there, but we'll try to get to the European Championship and that'll be it."

Shay Given and Paul McShane

Commentary of the moment Henry broke Irish hearts

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see also
France World Cup squad suspended
23 Jul 10 |  Football
Henry scores past Spurs on debut
23 Jul 10 |  Tottenham
The end of the road for France
22 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Anelka reveals depth of tensions
15 Jul 10 |  World Cup 2010
Anelka row sparks player revolt
20 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Unlucky Irish look to future
31 Dec 09 |  Football
Irish 'cheated' by Henry handball
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals
France 1-1 Rep of Ire (agg 2-1)
18 Nov 09 |  Internationals
The hand of Henry
19 Nov 09 |  Internationals

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