Friday, November 20, 2009

FIFA's hand job

Controversy surrounded France's qualification for the World Cup against Ireland. So much that French president Nicolas Sarkozy apologized while the Irish have demanded that the match should be replayed (this was rejected by FIFA).
The problem is France's equalizer in extra time (that brought France ahead 2-1 on aggregate, and gave them the spot in South Africa) where Thierry Henry is clearly seen handling the ball before passing it to Gallas who scores.
Cheating Frenchmen or a lousy referee? Who is to blame for this blatant injustice? I don't think it should be either Thierry Henry, the French players, or even the Swedish referee who was under horrible pressure.
Clearly FIFA is to blame: Firstly, FIFA changed the rules on the seeding before the play-offs, giving chance an "easier" opponent in Ireland. Now that France, with all its power and superstars are in, all is good! I have no doubt that had it been Damien Duff who had handled the ball to give Ireland a winner, FIFA would have called for a re-match.
Secondly, this decision just underlines FIFA's need to introduce TV cameras in refereeing! Just to use the example from another famous hand-goal, Maradona's against England in 1986, in the time the English/Irish players were protesting to the unwavering referees, the entire world saw the goals time and time again in replay! After one minute, the only person in the world that had not seen the hand was the man who has to make the decision: the referee!
Isn't the point to create the most fair results and best conditions for players, referees and fans?!? Apparently not for FIFA.
This is plainly stupid, and one has to suspect that FIFA, who are not stupid, must have ulterior motives for this?
It is a great pity for Ireland, but also for France, who will go to the World Cup under the shadow of poor sportsmanship.

1 comment:

Noelle said...

Thanks Erik..it was devastating to go out with a handball but as you say FIFA don't care...Ireland is too small for FIFA to be interested in...France in means more money for them!