Category: Archive

There’s no reason FIFA can’t do something

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

This is the reason that I cannot accept the statement from FIFA, that “we cant do anything about Thierry Henry’s Handball.” If you are the governing body of soccer in the world, and that’s FIFA’s claim to fame, surly you can do something.
FIFA has for many years pushed “fair play” front and center for every game. We see adorable little kids in national team jerseys carry banners for fair play.
So, Mr. Sepp Blatter and company, I would like to know where the fair play was for Ireland. Nobody has disputed that Thierry Henry handled the ball, nobody has disputed that it was a illegal act, an act which led to Ireland been dumped out of the World Cup.
So my question has to be: if you have a player who you know has broken the rules, why can’t you do something?
Under the rules of the game of soccer it is illegal to handle the ball. In this case it seems like it’s not. Ergo, if we all know it’s illegal to do this, and we all know that the French player did it, and didn’t suffer any consequence, how can it be illegal?
Thierry Henry can say all the right things – when he knew that there was no chance of a replay. When the goal was scored by William Gallas, Henry celebrated like France were going to the World Cup Finals. Where was his remorse then? A
In fact it was the better part of 36 hours before he showed any remorse. To me, all he was doing was trying to save his legacy. It’s pretty simple: Henry cheated, and got away with it.
One has to be honest and say that, in the game in Paris, Ireland created their own problems. They missed several guilt-edge opportunities to put the ball in the “auld onion bag” and people will say they missed their chance of going to South Africa.
Be that as it may, we still have a case of where the officials botched a very serious call. I have lots of respect for any man that will put on a referee’s jersey because it is the hardest job in the field. I think the only ones that feel that a referee is right is his family, and maybe not even them.
This time, the decision should have been right. It was a dead ball situation which allowed the officials all kinds of time to be in the correct position to call it. They didn’t get it right which, in my opinion, points towards the need for giving the officials a helping hand during the game.
I am referring to an official who could be watching just the feed of the game, one who could easily say to the referee yes, no, or whatever regarding a call like Henry’s handball.
How long could it take? Five to ten seconds? That amount of time would be time well used if the officials got the call right.
In the Europa Cup they have an extra official beside each goal. Maybe that would help. We all know that you are never going to get 100 percent of the calls correct 100 percent of the time.
We also all know that the technology is available to get the calls correct more frequently than they are rightly called now. Even if the use of technology resolves only 10 percent of poor calls, I think even that would be a huge improvement.
But for now we are left with just an empty feeling of what what might have been.
The one thing we are sure of is that South Africa and the World Cup next year will be a poorer place because the Republic of Ireland team, and, more importantly the Republic of Ireland fans, will not have an opportunity to show the world how a country should enjoy the World Cup finals.
I have to lay this at the hand of Henry, who, sadly, is now twinned with Diego Maradona in the wrong corner of World Cup history.

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