A TV replay could have awarded a handball against Henry in the World Cup playoff  [AFP]
Sepp Blatter, head of world football's governing body Fifa, has insisted that TV replays will not replace referees, as long as he is in charge.

After Thierry Henry's now notorious handball that helped France qualify for the World Cup at Ireland's expense, and also in light of a widespread match-fixing probe in Europe that implicates some referees, Fifa has been under renewed pressure to use video technology.

But Blatter has been resolute about the 'human' side of the game, resisting the use of replays.

"Referees shall remain human, and we will not have monitors to stop the game to see if we are right or wrong,'' Blatter said.

"Please don't insist on this theme.''

Inconclusive

Blatter had trialled video replay at the Club World Cup two years ago but said results were inconclusive.

He was was speaking at a news conference in Abu Dhabi ahead of the Club World Cup final between Barcelona and Estudiantes.

"There will be no more discussion (between fans) and then no more hope and then no more life,'' added Blatter, who plans to run for re-election in 2011.

Low attendances have marked the first batch of games at the Club World Cup, with Al Ahli's early exit not helping.

"We dreamed of a better performance,'' UAE football federation president Mohammed Khaltan Al-Rumaithi said.

"Al Ahli didn't plan very well for this tournament. We didn't see very serious preparation.''

Al-Rumaithi said the UAE was keen to bring the event back in the future, with the event returning to Japan for two years after another year in Abu Dhabi in 2010.

Source: Agencies