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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

France v Republic of Ireland: Cheating to Prosper

Having watched tonight's game, the Irish were very, very hard done by, by one of the world's respected footballers. If you are reading this and don't know what happened, this was the 2nd leg of a World Cup 2010 qualifier between these two nations, and France were leading 1-0 on aggregate from the 1st leg.

With Robbie Keane of the Republic of Ireland scoring in the first half, that levelled the game at 1-1, both scoring an away goal. So extra-time of 30mins kicked in after the original 90mins, and shortly before the first half of extra time had occurred, France had a free-kick within the Irish half. The ball was chipped over, the Irish failed to defend it, failed to clear it, it bounced to France's Thierry Henry, and as the ball came to make contact the 1st time with his forearm, Henry moved his palm to control the ball and square it for William Gallas to head in.

Now, Henry ran off with a celebrating grimace as the France players celebrated over to Gallas, he clearly felt very relieved and showed no sign of any regret for what he had done. Ireland's goal-keeper, Shay Given, immediately remonstrated to the officials about the handball to no avail. The goal stood. This coming some time after France's Nicolas Anelka feigned contact in the box to try to gain a penalty, only for the referee to give a goal-kick.

Superb refereeing to deny Anelka a penalty, should have booked him. But Henry, considered one of the most respected, respectable players in the game, at the end, sat alongside Ireland's defender Richard Dunne on the pitch as if to console Dunne! The gall of it.

I don't condone cheating. Some players, if not most, are skilled enough, fit enough, wise enough, shrewd enough, to gain that advantage without resorting to any influence outside the rules of the game. Henry was one of those players, and now isn't. Some still say the English have still not gotten over the 'Hand of God' by Diego Maradona in 1986. It shouldn't be called that but instead the 'Hand That Robbed'. It gained an advantage that should never, ever, have stood but inexplicably it did and the damage was done thereafter. England was so close to matching Argentina but for that moment.

Maybe some will say Ireland would have gone out on penalties, or they would have gone to South Africa and become whipping boys. Well, when you consider the likes of Henry, Anelka, Sidney Govou, Karim Benzema (who remained on the bench throughout), Patrice Evra, and the Irish have modest players who gave heart and valour in France's own ground.....the French were very, very fortunate. Very fortunate, indeed.

And a stay of execution has happened for Raymond Domenech. Having kept Benzema on the bench, with France not scoring up until nearly 105mins, this dreadful cheating moment has earned him a last-gasp reprieve. Do the French deserve to go further into the tournament? No. While they did well enough to earn a place in the final, they don't look the same side to repeat that again this time round.

But if there was going to be any poetic justice, they would repeat their feat in 2002. Because no way should Henry be captain and hold that magnificent trophy aloft. Does not deserve to even touch it as a player any more.



Blogger liamfoy said...

cheat cheat cheat fifa should be ashamed

11/18/2009 11:58 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yea well let them cry. I'm an Englishman in Glasgow getting stick from Scottish ad Irish guys about how they cherish the Hand of God, well they can now talk about the Hand that knocked them out of a plane ride to Durban LOL!

So stuff them, get knotted, should have scored when you had the chances - O'Shea, Duff and Keane couldnt hit a barn door from five paces! Henry does what he has to do - win the game for his country. Bye Bye Ireland, better luck next time!!!

11/19/2009 1:11 am

Anonymous Striker said...

Were the hell have you guys been :-)

Yes, a scandal. FIFA should now ban Thierry Henry from 4-6 matches.

Nice to see you back guys, the Football blogging world were orphans.

11/19/2009 10:33 am

Blogger RedsMan said...

Striker, good to hear from you too. Apologies for the lack of movement on EFT, 'busy' seems to be the hardest word!

I've read around the 'net of people asking for Henry to be banned. Players are banned for failing drugs tests (Paddy Kenny) failing to turn up to drugs tests (Rio Ferdinand), committing atrocious acts on the pitch (Axel Witsel, disgraceful), and so others say Henry has committed nothing worthy of such a punishment.

Others have asked me whether I felt N'Gog's dive against Birmingham City recently required the player being retrospectively banned, if Henry was to be banned. Since they both cheated. Or should that league game be replayed, if the France v Ireland match is to be replayed.

I said the EPL game was one of 38, that one game was not indicative of any detriment to either side, whereas Henry cheated in a game where there was to be no other game to play, the result on the night was indicative of any progress for either side. The fact there was extra time, in which the cheating occurred, emphasised this point.

N'Gog, for me, should be banned the one game for cheating, and serve as a signal for all players anywhere in the world. Henry should be banned too, from the replay. There should be one, as the cheating influenced the game in France's favour whereas up to that point there was nothing between both sides. Not to mention, to a lesser degree, Anelka's pitiful dive earlier on.

As I type, I dont know whether FIFA have acted on anything. I would, if I was head of FIFA, sharpish. Cannot have such a flagrant, blatant conduct allowing a team to prosper.

I made the point of UEFA sanctioning Denmark after their Euro2008 qualifier with Sweden in Copenhagen, 2007, when a Denmark fan came on the pitch to approach the referee. The ref had awarded a penalty to Sweden at 3-3, but when the fan came on and almost got to him, the ref abandoned the match, which was subsequently awarded as a 3-0 win to Sweden, with Denmark forced to play four home games away from their Parken Stadium, a distance of 155miles away, and that maybe with no fans. The Danish FA are appealing.

Now, if UEFA can do that, then FIFA should have no problem righting this wrong with Henry. If not, then it further encapsulates their weakness creeping, and creaking, at the foundations of authority. And that to me spells a poor decline into the lack of standards, further and further until.....well, I hate to speculate. Or rather, I fear to. For football.


11/19/2009 9:31 pm

Anonymous Justice for ROI!!!!!!!! said...

FIFA make me sick. They sit on their backsides fanning themselves like peacocks, looking down on football like Gods, take in the prestige and glamour of the sport and when incidents hapen, they act lamely or dont act at all. First Eduardo falling over against Celtic, gets a ban then it's pulled back - rubbish!! Now Henry cheats like the Pope is religious, and FIFA Would handle it! Christ almighty, what is going on in football?? There is no justice - FIFA, put this wrong right!!!!

Justice for IReland!!!!! Justice for IReland!!!!!

11/20/2009 2:07 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hand of Henry! Hahahahaha

11/20/2009 9:05 pm

Anonymous Justice for ROI!!!!!!!! said...

The Hand of Tyranny, more like! Blame the FIFA dogs! They see the injustice and sit to do nothing about it, a flat 'Non!' Dont ask the French if they will support a replay, they just about agreed to turn up against Ireland on Saturday! Relying on them to be honourable is like hoping the Washington Sniper would not shoot anyone. They didnt like how Zidane was sent off for his Italian head-butt in the World Cup and here they inflict an injustice and walk away, scot-free. Deplorable, I tell you, deplorable.

How's this for a chant like 'Que Sera, Sera):

Hey, you cheats! You cheats!
Whatever will be, will be,
You'll get yours, Thierry Henry!
Hey, you cheats! You cheats!

Hey, you cheats! Your cheats!
It wont work for the likes of you,
Remember two thousand and two,
Hey, you cheats! You cheats!

Hey, you cheats! You cheats!
We'll tell FIFA...oh what the heck!
They want to help poor Domenech,
Hey, you cheats! You cheats!

Hey, you cheats! You cheats!
You want to reach Durban,
Now you've cheats, of course you can!
Hey, you cheats! You cheats!

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be,
The Irish were so worthy,
Que Sera, Sera

Justice for IReland!!!!! Justice for IReland!!!!!

11/20/2009 10:34 pm

Anonymous Cristiano Ronaldo said...

I dont understand why they dont wanna make use of video replays? Take a look for yourself Soccer Highlights & Cristiano Ronaldo

1/24/2010 6:40 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

henry is a big cheater! he will be rememebered forever for his shameful act!

2/13/2010 10:45 am

Anonymous Soccer Freestyle said...

Get all the footballing action at Soccer Highlights & Football Torrent & Soccer Freestyle

3/27/2010 7:44 am


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