Thierry Henry controlled the ball with his left hand – twice – before passing to William Gallas, who scored the goal that takes France- not Ireland- to the World Cup Finals in South Africa next year. And the French striker has just said the game should be replayed
The Irish government isn’t happy, with the country’s Justice Minister calling for a replay.
The French Prime Minister, Francois Fillon, has hit back: he says Irish politicians shouldn’t get involved in footballing decisions.
Many say the French Football federation should do the decent thing ; offer a replay, win the game and go to South Africa with heads held high and the warm approval of the world’s sports-lovers.
I don’t think we should hold our breath.
Have a look at this video on Youtube . Paolo Di Canio, playing for West Ham, caught the ball rather than score when the opposition goalkeeper lay injured.
There are examples of players refusing to take penalties because they weren’t fouled and players stopping other players from being sent off. Ok, not oftem but it does happen.
Richard Williams in the Guardian :
“We all know which way Henry decided to go. With a broad, exultant beam on his face, he raced away from the scene of the crime to join Gallas and their team-mates in celebration of a goal that all knew was likely to be decisive in the battle for a place in next summer’s World Cup finals.For this was no ordinary piece of cheating. National pride and tens of millions of euros were at stake. So much greater, then, would have been the admiration of a decision to own up.”
Ireland’s radio stations were full of people upset and complaining yesterday – the big theme being “what sort of message does this send to kids ?”
In France itself there is discomfort and a growing Twitter campaign. Almost certainly to no avail.