On air: Should the match be replayed?

This is rapidly becoming one of the biggest sports stories in years. Where to start?

In the last few minutes Thierry Henry has said, “Of course the fairest solution would be to replay the game but
it is not in my control”. Not everyone, including his President, agrees.

And this, lest we forget, this man is a man so near the pinnacle of world sport that he takes a place in Gillette’s sporting shave trinity along with Woods and Federer.

Yet, at the climax of the play-off he handled the ball twice, created a goal, and then decided against telling the referee. And he’s captain of France, one the finest football teams of the past ten years.

Columnist Richard Williams has condemned Henry.

Former Ireland and Man Utd star Roy Keane tells his compatriots to get over it.

These are the key questions…

– Should the game be played again?

– Should Henry have admitted the handball?

– Should all sports follow golf and snooker, and create a moral pressure that demands a sportsman or woman confesses when a law has been broken?

– Should technology be used to disallow goals which break the rules?
– Do you feel FIFA is trying to brush this under the carpet as it wants the big teams to make it to South Africa?

– If you’re French are you ashamed of how your team has qualified?

– If your team had qualified in this manner would you have been bothered?

That should be more than an hour to keep us occupied.

84 Responses to “On air: Should the match be replayed?”

  1. November 20, 2009 at 16:07

    The mistake of the referee who didn’t notice Thierry Henry using his hands shouldn’t decide the fate of a team behind whom there is a whole nation. In all fairness, the match should be replayed to preserve the spirit of sport. If France refuses to do so it should be disqualified and the team behind it should go to South Africa.

  2. November 20, 2009 at 16:45

    as a guy who supports Arsenal football club and who regards Henry an Arsenal great, i was totally disappointed with the way Henry handled the ball. i have nothing against a replay – it would only be the fair. but knowing FIFA it would only be wishful thinking…

  3. 3 Donna
    November 20, 2009 at 16:58

    When a referee in any sport makes a mistake that is human but when that mistake is brought to their attention then the mistake should be righted. In this case sense the violation has been broughjt out and admitted to then a rematch should take place. Not to do so sends a moral message to young fans that winning in any manner even bending or breaking rules is ok and there is no consequence.
    Since technology exists to help with these types of situations it should be used to help perserve the integrity of the sport.

  4. November 20, 2009 at 16:58

    I am looking at the news about Henry, France, and Ireland. According to Radio Nederlands, Sarkozy has already apologized to the Irish Prime Minister but there was no news about a replay. FIFA has already decided against a replay since other countries would be requesting the same thing. I am in agreement with Sir Alex Ferguson concerning the use of video technology with one difference. The use of video technology should be combined with human decision making and a moral code of admission of guilt. In the present tense, maybe the game would have to be invalidated with Ireland going to the 2010 World Cup but the decision should be left to FIFA.

    • 5 hubert arnott
      November 21, 2009 at 04:08

      Ireland was contrived against even before this match, in that Michel Platini @ Sep Blatter (F.I.F.A.) ruled that the seeding rules should be changed half way through the qualifying process, this ensured that the cheaters (France) would meet a “lesser” team as (they thought ) Ireland. but their contrived plan did not work out! So I ask the question: Was the Ireland V France a “Fixed” game? Involving the Ref. and “others”

  5. 6 Donnamarie in Switzerland
    November 20, 2009 at 17:02

    I don’t believe that the match should be replayed, but I am certain that until FIFA enters the 21st Century and allows video replays, this sort of mess will continue to happen, to the detriment of football as a whole.

  6. November 20, 2009 at 17:06

    Should the match be replayed?
    This isn’t a worthy topic of conversation,sport is so ephemeral,the importance attached to football recently in the UK is obscene,get a clue,people.

    Obviously there is a political angle in promoting soccer as opposed to basketball as the world sport.

    Just heard about the match fixing scandal that be might worth discussing.
    Leeds united were robbed in the 1975 European Cup by a corrupt referee.

  7. November 20, 2009 at 17:08

    Salaam my dearest Ros,
    Could you please talk about the Egypt-Algeria issue during tonight’s eddition of WHYS ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  8. 9 Peter Gizzi UK
    November 20, 2009 at 17:14

    Yes even if it was a mistake it should be rectified.

  9. 10 Alan in Arizona
    November 20, 2009 at 17:20

    It’s hard to tell 100% from the video, but it almost looks like it couldn’t be helped. It appears that the ball came up to his hand which was naturally positioned for his balance.

    You can’t replay it for 1 little thing. If so, then replay every game were the ball didn’t go into the net because it hit another player standing there. I don’t think it was as intentional as much as it was naturally accidental.

  10. 11 Tamatoa, Zurich
    November 20, 2009 at 17:23

    I don’ think the game should be replayed. Henry didn’t do anything wrong. He fulfilled his obligation by accepting the referees descision.

    Did he follow the spirit of the sport? Yes, we have for a long time accepted bad descisions and let players get away with it. By allowing Maradona to score against in England in ’86 and not taking any actions we give Henry the right to do what he did. By accepting it we made it part of the spirit of the game. If we want to change it now we have an excellent opportunity now.

    Should football become a review-sport?
    I don’t think so. But we could introduce more referees. Football has an overall time-limit. Unlike American football or Cricket football is a fast flowing game. Breaks are not in the nature of the game. We accelerated it by introducing ball boys, reducing on-field treatment time for injured players and not letting the goal-keeper touch the ball when receiving a backward pass. Camera reviews would slow everything down. But what TV is doing right now by making it possible to review plays even if they don’t influence the game it stigmatizes unfair players. And this could also prevent players from cheating. Because they know that even if it doesn’t influence the game their market value will drop. Now, Henry could never land that Gillette campaign again.

  11. 12 Roberto
    November 20, 2009 at 17:27

    Re “” – Should the game be played again? “”

    ——– Much ado over nothing on a slow news day.

    Looked incidental contact to me, like a finger at the most, so no wonder the ref missed it. If these guys weren’t making millions with million$$$$ more at stake nobody would pay attention.

    It’s a squabble over money and prestige, not sportsmanship.

  12. 13 archibald
    November 20, 2009 at 17:29

    It is clearly a hand ball. There is no question about it. Free kick and replay are certainly in order. Otherwise, FIFA might as well pack it in and take up Bocce, no feet required.

  13. 14 Eric Fichtl
    November 20, 2009 at 17:38

    As an Ireland supporter, I’m gutted. But I don’t think the match should be replayed. Instead, the world attention focused on this incident should be channeled into getting the recalcitrant authorities at FIFA to accept the need for video technology. The claim that it would break up the flow of the game is ludicrous, as video review by the referee would take less time than goal celebrations, substitutions, and many free kicks, and would only be used in game-changing situations.

    The next World Cup, and matches practically every weekend, are tainted by the outmoded enforcement system FIFA insists on retaining. A good precedent could be set now by suspending Henry for seven competitive international matches (i.e., the fullest possible extent of France’s participation in South Africa).

    FIFA need to recognize this is about the integrity of the sport they claim to love: Are they rewarding players or cheats?

  14. 15 derrick from ghana
    November 20, 2009 at 17:45

    hi ros, i believe henry when he says his handling of the ball was instinctive. as far as i know, henry is no cheat because he does not have a reputation for that. i don’t think we can blame henry for the mistake of the referee who in addition to his linesmen failed to notice the foul. quite honestly if ask me – what he, henry was fair, i would say who cares about fairness in football. the game has never been fair and i don’t think the introduction of video technology would make any difference, rather it end taking away the human element – that is fallibility on the part of officials and players alike just like the one we talking about.

  15. 16 derrick from ghana
    November 20, 2009 at 17:48

    hi ros, i believe henry when he says his handling of the ball was instinctive. as far as i know, henry is no cheat because he does not have a reputation for that. i don’t think we can blame henry for the mistake of the referee who in addition to his linesmen failed to notice the foul. quite honestly if ask me – what he, henry did was fair, i would say who cares about fairness in football. the game has never been fair and i don’t think the introduction of video technology would make any difference, rather it end up taking away the human element – that is fallibility on the part of officials and players alike just like the one we talking about.

  16. 17 Gavin in Vancouver
    November 20, 2009 at 17:49

    It’s a handball, obviously. BUT it’s part of the game. If this gets replayed, it could set a very dangerous precedent. Any missed call in any game could be grounds for replay.

    Case in point: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ani9Wkx-TE
    Clearly a good goal in this game, but the officials disallow it. Remember the US run to the final in the recent Confederations’ Cup? They won this game against Canada, then the final to qualify for that tournament…

  17. 18 Ibrahim in UK
    November 20, 2009 at 17:55

    I’m against a replay… unless FIFA is prepared to replay every single game where a referee makes a mistake. If they do have a replay, and the referee makes another mistake like not giving a penalty or a free kick in a dangerous position, or giving an offside when it wasn’t or any other minor incidents that could lead to goals, will we have another replay? And another? Until the referee has a perfect game?
    And why replay this particular match, and not any of the earlier matches in which Ireland benefited from refereeing mistakes which propelled them into a position to even play this match against France?
    Many teams have suffered and benefited from refereeing mistakes, the handball in this game lends further weight to the use of technology in football to help the referee.

  18. 19 Dan
    November 20, 2009 at 18:01

    I agree with you. This is a GAME and the fate of the civilized world does not ride on its outcome.
    People then say “What message does this send to our young people” and I wonder with so many messages already flowing is anyone really listening?
    The Referee mad a mistake and such is life as well. It is not fair and we accept that and move on.

  19. 20 Chedondo, Johannesburg
    November 20, 2009 at 18:06

    Why is it so difficult for FIFA to accept video replays? Most modern sports seem to use them with little difficulty. The claim that it would cause unacceptable delays in the game doesn’t wash because the game is always suspended while the team that feels cheated protests to the deaf officials.

    Every fan of the beautiful game would like to know that his team has won or lost fair and square. Amidst that shouting, waving and booing soccer fans have deep sense of justice and a game lost through cheating is as painful as a stolen election – and yes, Mr Henry, what you did was cheating.

    I am sure most sport soccer can put up with the 10 to 30 seconds it takes to review an incident. If the review is inconclusive you simply drop the ball (the soccer equivalent of replaying the point in tennis) and get on with it.

    The World Cup has already been ruined even before the openning ceremony. I cannot imagine anyone going to watch French matches next year. They are good players but they are travelling to South Africa because they cheated.

  20. 21 KC in Uk
    November 20, 2009 at 18:06

    Shame on you Mr Henry. You should have taken the route of justice. Something that is amiss in this world.

  21. 22 patti in cape coral
    November 20, 2009 at 18:11

    Heaven help me, I’m curious in spite of myself. Are there any studies or statistics as far as referee versus TV replay, correlation to wins or losses, and any surveys done as far as how many people want to allow video replays? I would think that people who love the game would like video replays to be taken into account for accuracy’s sake. I would also think that referees would hate this.

  22. November 20, 2009 at 18:18

    [oops, had it in the wrong thread]

    FIFA should punish Henry in some way, take him out of the next 4-5 FIFA games, if you will. But there can’t be a replay. In those 90 minutes, the referee is God on the field. If he says goal, it’s a goal. If he says otherwise, it’s otherwise. Even gods are flawed. And there might be also an investigation with the referee. But there can’t be a replay, as much I want justice to be served.

    Konstantin in Wolfsburg

  23. 24 John costigane
    November 20, 2009 at 18:37

    Players can easily spot unsighted officials, so handling the ball, fouling opponents and even assaulting them can be done with relative freedom. Results cannot be altered in such circumstances, but post-match punishments should be severe to inform other players as to their behaviour.

    In such a system, Thierry would be banned for a year automatically, with no appeal.

  24. 25 Kevin PE
    November 20, 2009 at 18:43

    I dont know how anybody can say that the handball was incidental – look at the video.
    The ball would have crossed the dead ball line if it was not handled and actually handed back into play. If the referee was unsighted, then the linesman is in sore need of a trip to the eye specialist. All the Irish defenders are already appealing for a handball before the goal is scored. I dont wish to get into a tecnology debate, but there is much too much room for “human error” to be a diversion from the very real and powerful influences of big money and of course politics.

  25. 26 William Rojas in Chili
    November 20, 2009 at 18:44

    Of course i think so. This controvertial game should be replayed so that it could be fair for both teams.

    What Thierry henry did, evidently isn´t right at all. In the Football rules we can see clearly that a player hasn´t to touch the ball with his hands, and if this player did it, and the Referee wasn´t able to notice it, it´s absolutily necessary replay this match.

    We have some examples in which players have done the same, but due to the importance of this game, it should be played again.

  26. 27 Elias
    November 20, 2009 at 18:49

    Henry should not be faulted for handling the ball, the game is played at a fast space, so that at the time he unintentionally hanled the ball which can happen anytime, it was not seen by either the linesman or referee, what was Henry to do, put his hand up and stop the game and tell the referee he should have blown the whistle for a handball?, no one is expected to do that,. the game continued and as luck had it, Henry continued playing and passed the ball to his team mate who scored the controversial goal. Had no goal been scored the matter would end there.
    Video technology would help future similar incidences but FIFA is to pigheaded to install video screening during a match. Looking back to a much worse incident when England played Argentina in a World Cup football match when Maradonna the Argentenian player intentionally hit the ball with his hand and scored a goal, some time later, he was asked if he scored by hitting the ball with his hand, he said “it was the hand of God”, obviously admitting in a devious way to the fact that he did. England footballers immediately protested but to no avail. Henry’s handling of the ball was unintentional whereas Madonna’s handling of the ball was intentional.
    FIFA will stand by the rule once the whistle is blown to end a match, the result stands. However, an alternive way to solve the problem other than playing the match over again may be for both teams to participate on a shoot out by penalities, this may satisfy both teams and bring this incident to a satisfactory conclusion. In my opinion FIFA will determine the result stands.

  27. 28 Barry
    November 20, 2009 at 18:50

    It can’t be replayed. Where would it stop, when would the result
    actually count as final? If this happened 5 minutes into the match what then?
    If a player who kicks or setups a goal is found to be on performance enhancing drugs a couple of months later, is the game replayed?

    Unfortunately, unless it is something like having more players on the field when a goal is scored results need to be final.


  28. 29 mark
    November 20, 2009 at 18:53

    the time for making the decision to allow instant review of a referee’s call (or non call) is before the season starts not in response to one unfortunate game result. Changing rules midstream seems terribly arbitrary.

    los angeles, california

  29. 30 Nate, Portland OR
    November 20, 2009 at 19:03

    – Should the game be played again? No

    – Should Henry have admitted the handball? Probably, but its often an accepted part of any sport to cheat in little ways. This was a bigger cheat, but the responsibility is on the officials.

    – Should all sports… [demand confession when a law is broken]? No, again the burden should fall on officials

    – Should technology be used to disallow goals which break the rules?
    YES!!!! For plays such as handballs, use the criteria used by the NFL: the play stands as called unless there is clear evidence to overturn.

    – Do you feel FIFA is trying to brush this under the carpet…? Probably not.

    – If your team had qualified in this manner would you have been bothered? YES (but I’d still root for them next summer).

  30. 31 Vic in Canada
    November 20, 2009 at 19:05

    The match should definitely NOT be replayed. Missed calls or bad call by officials are an unfortunate part of sporting events. If this match is to be re-played then should all matches be reviewed after completion before thay can be considered official?

  31. 32 Kevin PE
    November 20, 2009 at 19:08

    OK I will get into one – In cricket, lbw, catches, run-outs, stumping, even four and sixes can be referred to the 3rd umpire for video analysis and decision. In rugby, tries are often referred if the referee is unsure about grounding or a foot in touch. These measures have all meshed perfectly with the game, with crowds watching the same replays on stadium screens. It seems ridiculous that soccer cannot have similar referrals when the referee is uncertain. If limited to scoring and possibly off-side decisions I don’t see how it can affect the games flow. This debacle would have been sorted out in seconds.

  32. 33 David Gould
    November 20, 2009 at 19:13

    Hi Ros,

    Sadly, we have drug taking in many sports, blatant diving in soccer, pulling of shirts and shorts, and, of course, illegal use of the hand to gain advantage. Many of these offences are never penalised and the poor refereee gets most of the blame he and his officials are only human and can not get every decision correct.

    Just in this one game you could see the diving (Anelka) to gain a penalty – he should have been booked for this as the referee didn’t give a penalty.

    There have been many games where a positive result has been gained illegally but the ONLY answer is to have video technology as they do, over here, in the NHL. It will be an extra tool to the referee and not be to the detriment of his performance. This would only need to be used when a goal is in dispute, a disputed penalty or a sending off. Most decisions would not need this technology.

    There cannot be a replay but maybe it will force FIFA and the Premier League to adopt some form of video technology.

    If it was my team that won illegally I would be very disappointed with them.

    Cheers and, always, enjoy listening to the program whilst I am working.

    David Gould
    British Columbia, Canada.

  33. November 20, 2009 at 19:13

    The game should be replayed. FIFA’s choice to stand by the ruling of the official, despite the blatant error of that official’s call, does NOT protect football from being inundated by more calls for more over-turned officials’ rulings in future. However FIFA’s intransigence DOES call to question the sport’s management’s interest to maintain a fair playing field. The issue here is not the official’s error, those things happen, BUT rather defiance against acknowledging the error and permitting the results of the game to stand. FIFA’s choice is reprehensible and does serious damage to international respect for FIFA’s leadership. If I were French, I would cringe at the “shadow of doubt” my team would carry with it to the World Cup… every time the French team’s name will be mentioned, it will be done with a re-cap of the error, and perhaps, the unfairness of France playing at the World Cup.

  34. November 20, 2009 at 19:15

    Do I think the match should be replayed?

    Is the Pope a Catholic?

  35. 36 Joseph A. Migliore
    November 20, 2009 at 19:17

    A similar occurrence with the infamous, “Maradona’s hand of God”, happened in the 1986 World Cup Quarter Final Game, knocking out England from the competition.
    FIFA soccer rules are absolute and brutal, especially during such critical important matches, such as during a World Cup.
    What should FIFA do to improve this lack of oversight, during the game on the field?
    Allow each team to have one-challenge during the game at the coaches discretion — this will enable the referee to temporarily stop the game for a controversial play review, FIFA should implement this rule prior to the June 2010 South African World Cup…
    People in North America are not that familiar with the rules of international soccer and the importance of such events, these important games happen once every four years and there is a great deal of national pride, yes, nationalism at stake here, there is no other greater honor for a country than to have a shot at the World Cup final competition.
    Unlike the NFL, where you have frequent breaks, time outs and delays during the game, it is relatively unheard of to stop a soccer match, unless due to injury or if a penalty kick is granted, due to a blatant foul.
    Let’s get real FIFA, they should make an exception for Ireland, re-play the match in a “neutral” country in Europe — what a way for France to go forward and to earn a spot for Johannesburg 2010!
    Moreover, there are two linesmen during the game, besides the regular referee, what where they doing while Frenchmen Henry was dribbling the ball?
    The Swedish referee who obviously has blown this game, should be banned from FIFA, period.
    FIFA should grant a re-match, considering excruciating circumstances. Irish national pride is at stake here, it is simply not fair to them.

  36. 37 Vic in Canada
    November 20, 2009 at 19:23

    One must remember this occurred in a sport where players are encouraged to fake injury so as to bring about a penalty against an opposing player. If this results in expulsion of the penalized player I have yet to see any player declare that they were faking so as to maintain the integrity of the game.

  37. 38 Peter in jamaica
    November 20, 2009 at 19:23

    No the match cannot be replayed because the rules state that the referees’ decision is final and cannot be over turned. If FIFA was to allow the match to be replayed then FIFA would be guilty of under minding thier own referees and that cannot happen even if the perpetrator admitted to it after the fact.
    Until the rule is in place that states video can be used the current rule must be up-held, the referee must see the offense to didn’t see it

  38. 39 Alan in Arizona
    November 20, 2009 at 19:25

    Karma will prevail! France will be out in the first round!

  39. 40 Greg in Oregon
    November 20, 2009 at 19:29

    This incident reinforces my belief that soccer needs to have a fourth official on the field. This sport is too difficult to referee by one on the field and two on the sidelines. I have watched so many high level college soccer teams play here and the officiating is often not good and often has an influence on the final outcome. And, as this mistake points out so painfully, one mistake in a game where few goals are scored is magnified.

  40. 41 Denton in Jamaica
    November 20, 2009 at 19:33

    i don’t see what the big deal is …. Ireland wouldn’t have won the game anyway. it not as if the game had finished 1-0 to ireland then they would have been to the world cup finals. there would have been penalties and i am having a hard time seeing ireland winning penalties ….

    these thing happen everyday and i don’t see a replay happening. recently chelsea didn’t get there match against barcelona replayed…

    ireland need to chill…

    • 42 Mick
      November 20, 2009 at 22:32

      You….are having a hard time seeing Ireland winning penalties. I bow to the superior knowledge of the expect Jamican side…man

  41. 43 Joseph A. Migliore
    November 20, 2009 at 19:33

    What should FIFA do to improve this lack of oversight, during the game on the field?
    Allow each team to have one-challenge during the game at the coaches discretion — this will enable the referee to temporarily stop the game for a controversial play review, FIFA should implement this rule prior to the June 2010 South African World Cup…
    People in North America are not that familiar with the rules of international soccer and the importance of such events, these important games happen once every four years and there is a great deal of national pride, yes, nationalism at stake here, there is no other greater honor for a country than to have a shot at the World Cup final competition.

    Yes, yes, yes, Ros they should allow this game to be replayed as an exceptional circumstance….”Where was the linesman when Henry handled the ball with his hand?”
    It’s so unfair for Ireland, they have to wait 4 years for another opportunity.

    Let’s get real FIFA, they should make an exception for Ireland, re-play the match in a “neutral” country in Europe — what a way for France to go forward and to earn a spot for Johannesburg 2010!
    Moreover, there are two linesmen during the game, besides the regular referee, what where they doing while Frenchmen Henry was dribbling the ball?
    The Swedish referee who obviously has blown this game, should be banned from FIFA, period.
    FIFA should grant a re-match, considering excruciating circumstances. Irish national pride is at stake here, it is simply not fair to them.

  42. 44 Jenn
    November 20, 2009 at 19:34

    I think we should be considering the role of the cameras in this age technology. Leaving it up to human refs when now the whole world can see what they can’t, isn’t current anymore. I am sure there has always been a modicum of cheating in every sport through out the ages, coming down to who was savvy/subtle enough to get away with it, but now that we employ cameras and playback, there needs to be some serious discussion on including pictures as part of the referee process.

  43. 45 Nigel Hukportie
    November 20, 2009 at 19:37

    I am a fan of Les Bleus and even more so of Thierry Henry. Truthfully i feel a certain measure of ambivalence concerning this issue. I’m elated France has qualified to play in the world cup next year, but i’m also quite disgusted at the way in which they qualified. But that notwithstanding, i feel the following:

    I believe its safe to assume that in almost all the qualifying matches for the 2010 world cup there were errors in officiating.Is it just the match in question that should be replayed then??? While i agree some errors would be considered “felonies” and others “faux pas”, they’re both errors and should be treated as such.
    Now i can understand those who said FIFA should call for a replay, but i ask this,”At what point should FIFA intervene in such matters?” I dont think the match should be replayed, if its any consolation to the Irish, i think France would get their comeuppance in South Africa. Until then, c’est la vie!!!!

    Nigel from Accra

    • 46 Mick
      November 20, 2009 at 22:23

      The whole point of this people is very simple….the final places were “seeded” with as much interaction with the separate FAs as occurs when Saint Peter’s throne is sat upon.

      Additional to that this has raised yet again the fact that Soccer is languising behind most older sports who have embraced more modern equipment – the video ref is proven to be swift – the fact that the earlier American fan replied that it kills american football is beyond a joke – you don’t have a bunch of kiddie athletes on steroids wearing more body armour than troups in Helmand calling “time out” every couple of minutes…bless…the little fragile creatures…if the consultation with the video ref adds 5 minutes to a match this is surely less than add on than your average Ronaldo dive.

  44. 47 steve
    November 20, 2009 at 19:38

    The man’s job is to play soccer, and to win. By admitted what he did on the field, he probably would have lost his job. If not, he probably would have had the anger of his teammates to deal with, and I honestly would want to drive his car if he had admitted it. God knows what kind of sabotage might have been done to it. Let’s not forget, there have been acts of violence against soccer players in the past. There was some south american player who accidentally scored against his own team, and he was murdered for it.

  45. 48 Bukowski in LA
    November 20, 2009 at 19:46

    Two words. Instant Replay

  46. 49 Warren
    November 20, 2009 at 19:48

    If France wins the final the competition will be devalued. Reminds me of match fixing scandals having a great effect on the way fans see cricket.

  47. 50 Peter_scliu
    November 20, 2009 at 19:55

    Any countries good to was over a soccer match. Will a olympics medalist loose his medal if he/she admits or proven to have cheat. There should be a rule regarding this problem.

  48. 51 Rick in Florida
    November 20, 2009 at 19:58

    Here in the US our National (Gridiron) Football League (NFL) has put so many rules in place to avoid controversy that many fans have started to call it the “No Fun League.” Things like this handball are part of sport. It happens. If things like this handball didn’t happen what would fans have to talk about. Who would remember the match were it not for Maradona’s Hand of God goal? It’s why we play and watch the game. Not be cheated but to enjoy the thrill of the unexpected, the unknown, and the incredible. It’s part of the game. It happens. Get over it. Play on!!!!

    November 20, 2009 at 20:08

    i think the ireland FA should forget about the game,because i dont think FIFA will oder for reply,i think for ireland prime minister to talk about this. is seem that politics is coming into football and i think is not good for the game thank

    • 53 Mick
      November 20, 2009 at 22:35

      And Nigeria would be best placed to talk about sepraating sport…politics …human rights …land rights ..relisious harmony….equal disitriution of wealth …and ….well…just about everything

  50. 54 Bridgetown Barbados
    November 20, 2009 at 20:20

    1. Yes the game should be replayed

    2. Most definitely Henry did the right thing in admitting his error; I would have accepted nothing less!

    3. No answer here, I have been trying to come to terms with the fact that golf & snooker are sports….no offence Tiger!

    4. Yes technology needs to be used to avoid controversies like this.

    5. Not likely, FIFA probably does not want to set a precedent.

    6. I’m not French, but I am a Henry fan and I am disappointed this happened to him and the team.

    7. Yes, it would not have been embarrassing to see a Caribbean team like T’n’T or Jamaica heading to SA due to a hand ball!

  51. 55 Sam
    November 20, 2009 at 20:38

    I cannot recall one time when an athlete in any professional sport has volunteered “during” the game that they commited a penalty or infraction. They may admit it after they are flagged, but they don’t go up and ask to be penalized.

    Imagine a baseball pitcher telling the umpire that the pitch the umpire just called a strike was really a ball and could he change the count in favor of the batter! Ludicrous!

    And don’t expect any athlete to do so in the future.

    Calling infractions correctly is what referees, umpires and instant replay are supposed to do.

    As the French say, “C’est la vie.”

    I hate to say it, but right now we’d take any win in Cleveland!


  52. November 20, 2009 at 21:02

    I remember when Chelsea was cheated at last year’s Champions League against Barca thanks to that Norwegian referee. I cried myself to sleep and I bet that is the same for all Irish folks now. At the end of the day I believe FIFA and UEFA is a clique controlled by mafia where the outcome of matches are determined before they are played.

  53. 57 Yasha
    November 20, 2009 at 22:00

    I’m appalled at the response to this incident. Is it so difficult to make connections between what goes on on the playing field and what goes on in life’s other arenas? The ethical choices and behaviors of the world’s sports figures are critical since the youth of the world will tend to emulate their behavior and thus dictate the future of our existance. Those who are willing to bend or ignore the rules of the “game” to satisfy their own greed for adulation, money, fame, etc. are holding up what should be an unacceptable example – witness Bernie Madoff and the demise of the world’s ecomony. It seems to me that at one time sports were the shining example of honesty and fair play: “It’s whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.” seems to have tranlated into “It’s not how you play the game, it’s whether you win or lose.” A sad commentary on our times.

  54. 58 Yasha
    November 20, 2009 at 22:13

    Oops. Second to last sentece should read: “It’s NOT whether you win or lose. . .etc”

  55. 59 Bert
    November 21, 2009 at 00:40

    Not that any of this matters much to me persoanlly, but how do other sports deal with referee mistakes when seen in instant replays? I know there have been some egergious examples of referee/judge misconduct in the Olympics, but what is the general practice?

    I was under the impression that you take your lumps, when the refereee makes a mistake.

  56. 60 claudine
    November 21, 2009 at 01:35

    Foozball is so boring?
    Why show it anyway?
    Just show the results at the end of the day is enough.

  57. 61 subra
    November 21, 2009 at 06:10

    The greatest problem with football is the governing body of FIFA. It is constituted with old members who want to take it easy and not introduce changes for fear of criticisms. Can you think of members around 70 years controlling games played by young fellows of 20-30 years.
    Modern technology may be introduced once these old blocks who are having a good time, are removed from office.
    Yes they are a clique, irresponsible and thinking themselves indispensable.

  58. 62 James Ian
    November 21, 2009 at 07:53

    Who cares, it’s a meaningless sport, why raise you blood pressure over something that in the end makes no difference at all. Well, unless you are one the people making money off all the fanaticism. Fools it’s a game and some of you people get so worked up aboout it that you want to riot beat one another up and argue. Surly to god there is something more important you can spend your time, money, effort and emotion on.

  59. 63 scmehta
    November 21, 2009 at 08:36

    Since we’ve already gone very high-tech in most of the sports games, and since the conscientious behaviour on the play-fields is on the wane, it’ll be much better if most of the controversial decisions by the referees/umpires are referred to the TV-replay i.e. the ‘third umpires’. Otherwise, one bad decision by the ground/field referees can ruin or nullify all the hard work/play by any of the playing teams. Although, I strongly feel that the said match must be replayed, yet the rules, terms and conditions, already set for the match/tournament, cannot be exceptionally over-ridden. It’s the sports authorities who should modify and introduce new rules and regulations towards any of the sports.

  60. 64 Tom Mullan
    November 21, 2009 at 11:00

    In the Olympics a runner is subsequently found to have cheated, and the result is changed to give victory to the cheated person. If it is a team event the whole team is disqualified. This outlook should bev adopted by football. If a player cheated in any way – diving, handball, etc. – which resulted in a goal, and that team went on to win, then the result should be reversed and the win given to the team who came second. Can you imagine the anger of the rest of the team if they lost out because of the stupid actions of one team member? Don;t replay this match, but change the system! And I’m Irish.

  61. 65 justine
    November 21, 2009 at 11:03

    its really sad for irish fan, to loose a WC berth which is a dream to many players and the nation itself jus because of a careless or may be bribed referee. because the vedio replays clearly suggest henry handling the ball purposely, its a fact whoever saw the vedio will admit it. but m much emerrass by the decision of FIFA are they behind it may be not

  62. November 21, 2009 at 14:28

    Match-fixing is rife in all sports worldwide. The recent police swoops on suspects concerning football affects over 200 people across Europe. That is the tip of the iceberg. Of course it should be replayed as was Algeria v Egypt but it will not be because France like England and others are considered “part ot the scenery” for any World Cup “tournament” for the foreseeable future.

  63. 67 pmose
    November 21, 2009 at 14:58

    in view of the latest investigation into fixed matches, i think it is about time we had big instant replay screens,then we all can see in slow motion just who is at fault
    and the right decision can be taken,but for some reason this will not be allowed
    perhaps the people responsable have some hidden agenda !
    i dont know all i know is common sence:


  64. 68 Alexandre
    November 21, 2009 at 21:07

    Hello, I am French and a huge of Football World Cups, now concerning the France qualification it is a huge deception , the game should either be replayed or let an Irish win, because they deserve that thier place in the cup….

  65. 69 david miller
    November 21, 2009 at 23:59

    Yes, the game should be replayed.

    FIFA is like many other “world bodies” that there is NO control and can do what ever the strong “members” wants the”organization” to do.

    I would like to know who audits FIFA, the UN with its all kinds of different “sub” organizations, the world Olympic commity, and on and on. The list is practicably EDNDLESS.

    Like I’ve said, the game should be replayed, the Refs. should be kicked out.

    And I DON’T even like Soccer (Football).

    • 70 mike penn
      November 22, 2009 at 00:13

      Dave you are on the ball ! Agree with you 100%.

      The Refs. should be punished strongly, so future Refs. will open their eyes and be more alert.

  66. 71 T
    November 22, 2009 at 00:40

    They should replay it. But unless all FIFA members demand this, it won’t happen.

  67. 72 claudine
    November 22, 2009 at 01:41

    Why re-play?
    so that some bookmakers who have lost can win while other lose?
    so that other bookmakers can decide who wins?

    All that foozball craze promoted by TV is such a big business for some so that they have to resort to cheating.
    Its all about money, not about the game and that thanks to TV and other media.

  68. 73 Nathan Xu in Adelaide Australia
    November 22, 2009 at 09:53

    Much as I feel Irish has been hard done by, but the chance the game will be replayed is almost 0. I believe it was a honest mistake by the referee, you surely cannot replay every single game where referee make such mistake. However, given this is such a dishonest act by Henry, if I am the French team, I would request FIFA for a replay. Otherwise, it will not be hard to guess the public enemy in South Africa next year.

  69. November 22, 2009 at 10:08

    I’m slovenian so i’m glad that we made it, despite the wishes of Fifa. But i must say i’m rather dissapionted about Franca and Henry, darn shame.

  70. November 22, 2009 at 18:26

    Hi Ros, bravo for the skillful introduction of the debate.
    Was the goal illegal: of course. The maker says so. No discussion.
    Should there be a replay: No! the illegal goal should be cancelled.
    A moral code should already naturally exist by itself: natural justice.
    I would be ashamed if i was french. A great many decent people in France must certainly be ashamed and wish the fault be repaired.
    Modern technology , e,g. Video should be brought into action. After all such an occurence is nor frequent and an occasional short time stop play could be taken advantage of to provide facts for a indisputable decision. By the referee himself eventually,
    The french authorities should accept there was a foul and take an honourable decision otherwise a dirty mark will remain on their name for ever.

  71. November 22, 2009 at 23:51

    Times have changed dramatically in the cyber age we live in. Anyone dares to question this fact? If so, I’d like to ask this person whether he/she would have dreamt just a couple of decades ago that a mouse click would send letters, photos and films across the universe in the wink of an eye. Why should football be allowed fool’s paradise and persist in conservative anachronism? Does the FIFA consider itself immune to change? Repeat the match. Let it be a first-timer. Let electronic evidence prevail. This move will have to come – irreversibly and unstoppably – nothing will or can stop it, not even FIFA. Progress in this direction is as inexorable as death. What better case in point to break the ice of tradition and hail in the new era? Perhaps it is the average age of FIFA officials that should change not the fact that a repeat of the match is the only justifiable outcome of this matter.

  72. 77 guykaks nairobi
    November 23, 2009 at 07:42

    I see this as a big scam..shame on henry and the beautiful..the game was over and never to be replayed.

  73. November 23, 2009 at 10:45

    A replay was always out of the question, of course. This sort of stuff happens all the time. You win some, you lose some. What Henry shopuld have done, is go straight to the referee and admit that he handled the ball before the goal was acknowledged. That would have been real sportsmanship. France might still have won the penalty shoot-out, after all. As it is, he celebrated along with his teammates when he discovered the ref hadn’t seen it and then apologized afterwards. That was as hypocritical as it gets. But then, that’s football for you.

  74. 79 Henry Nyakoojo, Kampala
    November 23, 2009 at 14:25

    No Replay. France should simply be kicked out and a replay for their replacement arranged with Ireland against the “best” among the teams eliminated in the European play offs.

  75. 80 Patrick Beggan
    November 23, 2009 at 18:42

    I wrote the following comment on the FIFA website “News Centre – Have Your Say – What caused you most heartbreak” and I received the following message:

    “Sorry, your message seems to contain profanities and cannot be submitted.” – Talk about not being able to take criticism… judge for yourself if profanities exist:

    ‘Last night I and all fans of fairness in soccer were gravely disappointed. The game and FIFA suffered a massive blow to their reputation. To refer to it as disappointment alone is insufficient because it infused a sense of utter disgust and sheer outrage.

    The integrity of the sport has been hugely undermined and Ireland has been unfairly denied an equitable chance to participate in the world-cup finals in South Africa.

    If FIFA truly believes in “Fair Play” they will have the match replayed. Prove that you are not corrupt. Or, at the very least have a video referee introduced for penalty and goal decisions or even a goal-line umpire. That such a blatant disgrace may never again occur.”

  76. November 23, 2009 at 23:17

    FIFA’s reply to Patrick Beggan seems typical of the feudal spirit that pervades most sporting bodies. If not financially, they are at least morally corrupt. It only increases the suspicion that many people have that rich clubs and federations are being constantly assisted by the international football associations, such as FIFA and UEFA, in winning as many trophies as possible. Italy f.i. only managed to beat a small football nation like Australia on their way to a most dubious championship with blatant assistance of the referee during the last World Cup. Similarly the entire way the Champions League has been set up by UEFA seems to serve only one purpose: offering an entirely unfair advantage to the ‘big’ clubs and competitions.
    I dare to predict that one African nation will probably make it to the semi-final of next year’s WC with some assistance from referees in order to maintain the illusion of football as a world-wide sport, only to be frustrated by refereeing ‘errors’ in the end so that one of the ‘big’ nations will be able to take the cup home.

  77. January 7, 2010 at 23:17

    thanks for the info
    Im gonna use this in my project as refrence..
    happy new year btw

  78. February 7, 2010 at 10:10

    The game is game, you shouldn’t replay it.

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