Friday, 20 November 2009

Shame on Henry

Sports - Football - Internationals - World Cup Qualifier

The more I watch it, the clearer it gets to me: If Fifa want to set a stance against cheats, they should take action to warn all the other offenders-to-be, in this case disqualify France and fine and suspend Thierry Henry.

But, I know that will never happen. Football is the only sport where cheats get away and on a regular basis, too, especially of the big teams. So, it is no surprise we have seen and will see it again and again. But at some point it has to stop and something has to change!

It is rhetorical question whether a video referee would have made a difference. The clear answer is, YES! France would not have been awarded the goal, Henry would have been booked, a free kick would have been awarded to the Republic of Ireland and play would have continued with Ireland still in the qualifier, with more than a shout as they were the better side throughout the match.

We obviously do not know how the match would have developed from there, if it would have gone to penalties, or one of the sides would have caught a late (but fair) winner - but we surely know how it would not have ended: An unfair shame and scandalous cheat!

One can only speculate how Fifa would have reacted if it would have happened the other way round, Robbie Keane the offender and France the losers. I suspect we would have read a clear statement the next morning about what actions will be taken.

When I reflect back at how many times they threatened and had a dig against England and their fans, with fines and suspensions, up to disqualification, it would be more than hypocritical if, as I suspect and expect, nothing will follow on this offence.

But presidents Sepp Blatter (FIFA) and Michel Platini (UEFA) were never the ones to jump in for the underdogs or ring in big changes. Instead, they just waffle on and ignore the problem-maker(s) when it matters most (and it is especially amusing regarding that the latter is a Frenchman).

My question to them and all football associations' presidents, executives and directors (managers and players, too) is: When will they learn from the other sports to make football a true sport again???

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