French striker Thierry Henry will not be punished for his handball offence against Ireland in a World Cup qualifying game, FIFA ruled Monday.
Soccer's world governing body was considering sanctions against Henry after the FC Barcelona's handball offence in the Nov. 18 game led to a goal by teammate William Gallas, allowing the French to qualify for the 2010 World Cup at the expense of the Irish.
FIFA's disciplinary committee said Monday it had no legal right to consider the case under its own rules, declaring that a handball offence was not classed as "a serious infringement" necessary to prosecute Henry.
"There is no other legal text that would allow the committee to impose sanctions for any incidents missed by match officials," read a FIFA statement.
As a result, Henry will not miss any games for France in South Africa.
Les Bleus will play in Group A at the World Cup, with games against Uruguay (June 11), Mexico (June 17) and South Africa (June 22).
The sports world has been in an uproar ever since the game between France and Ireland saw Henry's deliberate handball lead to a goal by Gallas in extra time.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw, but that was good enough for the French to win the two-game playoff series (2-1 on aggregate) and qualify for the World Cup instead of the Irish.
The Football Association of Ireland demanded that the game be replayed, and even suggested that the Irish national team should be allowed to compete at the World Cup as the tournament's 33rd team, but FIFA turned down both requests.
Henry apologized for his actions and on the back of the controversy FIFA held a special emergency meeting in Cape Town last month to discuss using goal-line technology and extra referees at the World Cup.
But FIFA decided against using additional referees in South Africa and promised to look at possibly introducing video technology to soccer at a later time.