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Hand of Henry

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Hand of Henry

Postby Dave » Thu 19 Nov 2009 18:42 GMT

I am still seething over the French goal that should never have been and that denied Ireland qualification for the 2010 World Cup.

It's clear from the replays that at least one French player was offside when the free kick was taken, and that that the ball didn't simply strike Henry's hand - he moved his hand into the path of the ball to stop it going out.

But while I'm seething over it, that's the way things go sometimes. It doesn't make me want to introduce video replays into the game, with all the stops and starts that would entail. It may be fine for cricket, American football and other matches that are effectively a series of set pieces, but for a free-flowing game like football it would transform the play.

And some of the suggestions I've seen for how to redress the situation have been little short of ridiculous.

The FAI have called for a replay. How undignified.

One poll I've seen offered as an option "Give Henry a red card and replay the rest of the match from the 104th minute". Quite apart from the logistics of such a replay, and the lack of precedents, it would be a major stretch of the laws of the game to give him a red when the most he's guilty of is unsporting behaviour.

Another offered the idea that both teams should be allowed to qualify. At whose expense, I wonder? Maybe the people setting the poll were having a laugh, to see how many naive fools would go for this one.

About the most realistic suggestion I've seen is that Henry should be barred from the finals. And in my view even that's over the top.

It still won't stop me mentally putting the word "(cheat)" after his name in future, though. :soapbox:
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Postby kendalcottages » Tue 5 Jan 2010 15:37 GMT

...but isn't all this one of the beauties of football? That decisions - sometimes major ones - are sometimes wrong.

It's hard to swallow but Ireland's qualification didn't really all hinge on that incident. They were lucky to get a very iffy penalty in an earlier qualification game and they still weren't through even Henry hadn't handled the ball (twice).

Yes, it was an ugly incident, but one of the nice things about footie is being able to talk about these things. It's refreshing to see you're not immediately jumping on the video replay bandwaggon, Dave, like most would do.
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Postby Dave » Tue 5 Jan 2010 17:08 GMT

Absolutely true, Paul - take out the quirks and the errors and you'd kill off a lot of pub discussions (and a lot more righteous indignation) at a stroke. :lol:

I take your point about Ireland having benefited from that earlier dodgy decision - and about them not having necessarily qualified even if that bit of cheating by Henry had been spotted. For all we know, the resulting free-kick might have been fluffed and been belted straight back into the net by a marauding French forward.

Round about the same time, Birmingham were perhaps unlucky not to beat Liverpool at Anfield when Ngog dived to get them a dodgy penalty. As I say, perhaps - Blues played well, but a draw was probably a fair reflection.

On the other hand, Blues drew 0-0 against Chelsea over Christmas. Chucho Benitez had a goal disallowed for offside when it wasn't, but I for one wouldn't argue that they were unlucky not to win - they did well to shut Chelsea out for the draw.

It all evens out in the end. Unless you've got an Asian betting syndicate doing dodgy stuff with the floodlights. :twisted:
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Postby kendalcottages » Tue 5 Jan 2010 17:35 GMT

And who am I to complain either. My lot have survived relegation for three seasons on the trot recently, all because of various dodgy goings-on in non-league circles.

Mustn't grumble. :)
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