Cape Town, South Africa:FIFA opened a disciplinary case on Wednesday against France forward Thierry Henry for handling the ball in the World Cup playoff against Ireland last month.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said that its disciplinary committee will look at Henry's behavior in the November 18 second leg at Stade de France.
FIFA's executive committee met and referred the case to the independent disciplinary panel. It has the authority to impose a one-match suspension on Henry, which would take effect at the start of the World Cup in June.
Henry twice handled the ball before passing to William Gallas, who scored the goal that gave France a 1-1 draw and 2-1 win on aggregate to qualify for the World Cup instead of Ireland.
Ireland's players later expressed anger that the France captain ran to join a jubilant goal celebration with teammates instead of acknowledging his foul play.
Blatter - who said this weekend that it was not Henry's responsibility to tell the referee he handled the ball - on Wednesday described the Frenchman's handball as "blatant unfair playing" that was seen around the world.
He said no timetable has been set for a meeting and ruling from the panel, which is chaired by Swiss lawyer Marcel Mathier.
Blatter said he spoke by telephone with Henry several days ago, and that the Frenchman felt "left alone and abandoned" by intense public reaction against him.
"It was a sportsman's discussion," said Blatter said, who has made fair play in football a major theme of his presidency.
He appealed to coaches to observe fair play and said the Henry case could be "an example for the youth of the world."
The French Football Federation would not immediately comment on the disciplinary case.
In a similar case last year, Italian authorities banned Fiorentina forward Alberto Gilardino for two matches after he scored with his forearm in a Serie A match.
The league ruled that Gilardino was unsportsmanlike for not acknowledging the handball during a 3-1 win over Palermo.